This antique cotton or thread barrel is carved of real ivory with smooth sides and turned bands. The top is inset with a circle of maroon leather. The bottom unscrews and inside is a post to be wrapped with thread. There's a hole in the side to feed the thread through. Turning the top winds the thread back in. The condition is excellent with no chips or cracks and everything screws together well. The patina and ivory grain are exceptional and it's all original.
It would have graced an English workbox of the late 18th or early 19th century. It measures 1 1/4" high and the top is 1 1/8" in diameter. Many of the Regency workboxes of this era were covered with dark red leather and I think this barrel was from one.