Boot-shaped match safes were definitely a thing--one finds carved as well as cast iron versions shaped like cowboy boots as well as Victorian boots, which I believe is the case with this one, which I believe dates to the end of the 19th century. I'm a sucker for a carved shoe or boot to begin with, and even better if serves a function!
The finish to the wood is well worn, particularly on one side, but there are no notable chips or cracks and it remains a sweet little thing. Fill with matches and set on the fireplace mantle! 3 3/4" t x 2 7/8" l x 1 3/8" w.