A relic from a lifestyle that no longer exists - a Newspaper page turner!!
One explanation is that these were used in a time when the ink on the newspapers tended to soil the fingers
Further reading offers a different view that these were actually paper knives:
Uncut pages were common to Victorian Era and long sheets of paper would be printed on both sides and then stitched to create a book or sheaves of newspaper.
Most of the leaves were cut during the binding process. But since this was a hand-worked process, omissions occurred and leaves were sometimes left uncut and could not be opened without the use of long sharp knife-like paper cutters. And so a large variety of artitstically decorated paper-cutters with handles came into being to cater to the various sizes of paper readables being created.
This piece is made of Sandalwood and is decorated with organic material on both the front and the back with perfectly carved / sculpted art.
This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user. Signs of this life lived heartily may be present on the piece in the form of stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections. Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect. More photos of such imperfections will be provided on request.