Handmade boxes with surprise carved snakes inside seem to have become a thing right around 1900, which is about how old I'd guess this one is. Sadly, the slide top lid to this lovely grain-painted wooden box is long gone, but a string attached to the snake inside does the trick for making him emerge! The snake itself is pretty terrific I think, with hand-painted details (in ink I believe) and tiny nails for eyes, and a knot in the string can be used to position him arching tall. The box, which also looks like a book, appears to have been made out of cigar box wood, with a few letters visible on the interior. Pretty fun!
Box measures 4" x 3" x 15/16". The visible neck of the snake is about 2 1/2" long. All in very good condition.