An Antique Rushlight Box
It's not every day you find a rushlight box in fact there are very few around, particularly ones in mahogany.
Rushlights were mainly used for lighting in humble cottages where candles even made from animal tallow were too expensive.
Rushes were picked, soaked in water and the outer layers peeled away. The inner pithy centre was dipped in kitchen grease and then left to dry resting on bark or similar. These rushes were then stored in bundles, occasionally in an antique treen box which would hang on the wall
When used the rushes would be clipped into the jaws (like pliers) of a table or floor standing rushlight holder and lit from one or both ends.
Since rushlights used to be known as 'the poor man's lighting' to have a box made for storing these rushes was not common.