I've never before seen anything exactly like this, but assume it's a stand for hatpins, stickpins and such. Obviously it dates from the Art Nouveau period (probably the 1880s or 1890s), given its ornate scrollwork and other ornaments. I particularly enjoy the lion-like gargoyle figures at the corners of the base. The piece is about 3" wide and 6 1/2" tall, including the budlike finial on top which unscrews for some reason. Quite heavy for its size, it can hold a LOT of jewelry and remain stable. Present color is matte black, but it's just a spritz away from being any color you like. Past shades visible inside the base are fern green and cinnabar red.
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