An 18th century lignum vitae coffee grinder or mill. The acorn finial unscrews so that the handle can be placed on the spindle, below there is a steel grinding mechanism. Coffee beans are placed in the top and the ground coffee is retrieved from the base which unscrews. The handle which is a replacement folds away in the base.
These grinders were very expensive to make because they used expensive lignum vitae and steel for the internal grinding mechanisms. In the 18th century they cost approx 45 shillings to make, equivalent to around £230 or 22 days wages for a skilled tradesman.