This little round antique ivory vinaigrette was used by 19th century ladies to carry perfume or smelling salts. The top is engraved with patterns of Madras work dots and circles. This is a form of scrimshaw work where black lacquer is flowed into the engraved designs. It has a lovely mellow patina and distinctive ivory grain pattern. It contains a pierced inner disk which unscrews so that a piece of saturated wool or cotton could be inserted. It still contains a little ball of sheep wool.
The condition is excellent with no chips, cracks or other damage and the lacquer designs are pretty much intact. It measures slightly over 3/4" in diameter and screws together well. It's English and dates to the early 19th century. A variety of Madras work sewing needlework tools are shown in this material on p. 87 of Nerylla Taunton's book "Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries".