This gorgeous antique tape measure is hand carved of real ivory with beautiful carving from top to bottom. The top is carved in the form of a many petaled flower. The sides have delicate turning and the top and bottom have beaded edges. The green silk tape is original and complete and is marked in nails and partial yards. A "nail" represented 2 1/4" or 1/16th of a yard and was an early measuring system found on older English tape measures. Gay Ann Rogers has an explanation of this measuring system on p. 126 of her book An Illustrated History of Needlework Tools. The top turns to rewind the tape and it works perfectly.
It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or other damage and the patina and ivory grain are lovely. It measures 1 1/4" high and the top is slightly over 3/4" in diameter. Similar ivory workbox tapes are shown on p. 123 of Gay Ann Rogers' book "An Illustrated History of Needlework Tools".