These elegant antique cotton barrels are smoothly carved of real ivory. The thread was wound around the spools inside and there's a hole in the side of each to feed the thread through. They were part of an English Regency workbox from the early 19th century.
This is an exceptional set of four matching barrels in amazing condition with no chips, cracks or other damage. All four spools are intact. The spots you see at the center of the bottoms are natural ivory imperfections. Each measures 2" high and 1" in diameter. Some are shown on p. 44 of Nerylla Taunton's "Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries" along with the style of workbox they are from.