Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mystery Object: What is it?

It’s time for another Mystery Object! In past rounds I’ve posted pictures of things like glove stretchers and vinaigrettes for you to identify. This time, we’re going to try something a little different…because I don’t have any idea what this Mystery Object is! Do you?

Here it is:

From the end of the jump ring (which makes me wonder if it’s something that might have been carried on a chatelaine) it measures 2 ¼ inches. It’s marked “A.M. Co” and “STERLING SILVER.” The main length of the body is machined in tiny ridges, and there’s a slot running its length. When you turn the knob on the end, a sort of tongue protrudes through the slot:
The object easily comes apart into two pieces--an inner core and outer shell--and has a little catch so that I think it’s made to pull apart. The inner core with the tongue pretty much fills the outer--there's not a lot of space in there:
Unfortunately I don’t have a date for this item: an on-line search for “A.M. Co” didn’t turn anything up about the manufacturer, and neither did searching on silver hallmark identification sites. I’m not even sure if it’s American or British.

I have a couple of theories…but I want to hear what you think. No theory too crazy! And anyone who can provide a positive identification for this object will win a signed copy of your choice of Bewitching Season or Betraying Season.

Let the guessing begin!

21 comments:

Regina Scott said...

Well, isn't that the funkiest little thing? I am utterly clueless. Can't wait to see what others think!

Marissa Doyle said...

Okay, I'm glad I'm not the only one who's stumped!!

Christine said...

Is it a cigarette roller?

Marissa Doyle said...

I don't think so, based on images of cigarette rollers shown on Google images--cigarette rollers seem to have a little trough where you lay the paper and then pour in the tobacco.

Dara said...

I honestly have no clue! Maybe something with winding loose string? I can't think of anything else that would be that small...

QNPoohBear said...

I'm stumped. It doesn't look long enough for a needle case and it doesn't seem to have a pop-up top either. The closest I found in searing was a lipstick case but it's not exact.

Marissa Doyle said...

It would be long enough for a needle case (2 and a quarter inches) but no pop top--it's not a container of any kind (needles would fall right out of that slit in the side). I've toyed with the idea of a stamp holder--stamps started being sold in rolls by 1907in the US--but there wouldn't be room inside the cylinder for more than a couple...so that seems pointless.

pie said...

How about a ribbon roller? You go to the shops and buy several lengths of ribbon, but you don't want to carry them home in a tangled mess, so you stick one end underneath that tongue-thingey and roll your ribbon!

(Am I thinking of the scene in the Keira Knightley "Pride and Prejudice" where Wickham buys Lydia some ribbon? Why, yes, yes I am.)

Marissa Doyle said...

Cool idea, pie--but there just isn't room inside for more than an inch or two of ribbon.

I'm thinking it has to be some kind of tool, rather than a storage device. Keep up the guesses, everyone!!

ChaChaneen said...

Hmmm, how odd indeed. I don't know but to me... it reminds me of a whistle. Maybe that tongue thingy changes the sound or something? ha ha

Sai.sai said...

. . .its an oval strip dispenser stamp box! . . .
.it would store. . .
. i found it on the internet.
it's from an old English/British company circa 1890. . .

Rachel said...

I'm thinking is holds tiny messages....maybe?!?!?!

Marissa Doyle said...

Ooh, Sai.Sai--can you post a link?!

Anonymous said...

Here's the likely link: http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=4038721

Sai.sai said...

sorry i didn't post the link. . .but 'anonymous' was right! that's where i found out about the tool's use. . .

Marissa Doyle said...

It's okay, Sai.Sai...and I'm thrilled you were able to find it!!!

Can you contact me via the form on my website so I can send you your prize?

BookBegger said...

I'm guessing it's a hot curler that they used in their hair.

Sai.sai said...

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! so much Marissa!
.i'm so thrilled!
.i'll stop by your site. . .i actually live halfway around the world from where you are right now. . .is that alright with you? . . .

Marissa Doyle said...

Absolutely all right, Sai.Sai. :)

Sai.sai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sai.sai said...

.ohhhh!
Thank you so much Mrissa! . . .
.I can't seem to say thank you enough!
. . .I already dropped by your site yesterday. . .