This is an unusual, handmade pine mold made to produce lead shot (musket balls?), one at a time. Relative to producing shot, much more commonly one sees antique handheld plier-like molds, often producing multiples at once, quickly, which would be far more efficient in a military type situation--so this seems certainly made for personal use, and while I assume for producing shot, I suppose it could have been used for a different purpose entirely (?). Clearly it was used, though, with lead residue on the mold and scalding to the wood. I love it for the aesthetics of it all, with a keyhole shape to the mold, and looking like rather like a peephole in a wall when closed. And, for me, there is a certain sense of drama about it, as if its maker crafted it in order to produce, say, a single shot for a duel to the death! It was quite carefully constructed, with nicely tapered dowels holding the two sides together, gliding smoothly and holding perfectly snug, which, together with the patina, points to old construction.
5 5/8" x 2 1/4" x 1 5/8" closed. Mold would produce a lead shot approx 5/8" in diameter. Very good antique condition with lead residue on the mold and a beautiful old patina to the pine.