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This was made by Webster Co, N Attleboro, MA (1869-1950's) but I have no idea what its purpose was. It measures about four inches tall but is only 1/2 inch wide. Any help appreciated. 

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Interesting item there - It might be a cigarette holder. Let me hunt around a bit though to be sure. Your missing what would have been a glass insert. If I'm guessing correctly, the little bit in front may have held matches. But, I'm not for sure - just guessing so far!

AHH - This one is closer - German Silver: They call it a "Chamber stick match holder/Candle with PICTURE frame! So perhaps what you've got is a picture frame/Match holder combination?image 0

This is the general idea of what I was thinking of - let me try again though, I'm not at all sure on thisimage 0

And there is this one, which has it's glass insert still - they are calling it a table top cigarette dispenser? That's all I got for ya, hope it helps a bit! Keep us posted if you learn more, very unusual Item - great Find!

Image result for Vintage Sterling silver tabletop cigarette stand with match holder

Thanks so much Vicki! I had thought of a cigarette holder but was having trouble envisioning how it would work. Also, the small attached piece at the front has a divider in mine so I couldn't see how a book of matches would fit in.  Based on some of what you've shown me here though, I am now thinking it didn't have a glass insert but that the cigarettes were placed in there lengthwise. I don't smoke so rolled up fake cigarettes and added my tweezers where a small pair of tongs would go but think this might be the way it would have been used?? Now I just need to find a pair of small tongs! What do you think?

Yes! Entirely possible on the horizontally placed cigs - that works, however not tongs, may have been either for a "cigarette holder" also very popular in the Art Deco era, right into the 1950s - think "I love Lucy" when she put on airs and used a fancy "cigarette holder" LOL> Slots could have held two holders, possibly matching the pattern on the box - OR, it may have had a little matchbox of some kind that would have fit within the grooves that you have there, could have got separated and lost.  I'm pretty sure that was the original purpose though. :)

Gotcha. Love the filter idea. I was just thinking that if you prissy enough to want your cigarettes served to you like this you might not want to chance someone else's fingers touching your cigarette. I agree that match holders or filters make more sense though. Thank you again....I'm going to run with it as a cigarette holder!

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