Strange antique object has internet stumped

The internet was recently left stumped after a person took to the internet to ask for advice on what this strange object was.

Having located it in a bedside drawer, the person posted an image of their find on Reddit‘s ‘What Is This Thing?‘ sub-reddit.

Most people couldn’t figure it out…

…Until someone commented that it could be the antique version of an object many of us use to keep our nails looking fresh!


Nail care has been a timeless pursuit for people throughout history, and one tool that has stood the test of time is the nail buffer. These little gadgets, often overlooked in the vast world of beauty tools, have a fascinating history of their own.

Back in the day, when our ancestors were still figuring out the whole grooming thing, nail buffers were rudimentary at best. Think smooth stones or pieces of leather used to rub down those nails to a shine. It was all about manual labor, but hey, it got the job done!

Fast forward to the Victorian era, where sophistication was the name of the game. Nail care became more refined, and so did the tools. Enter the era of ornate, often silver, nail buffers. These beauties were not only functional but also served as decorative pieces for the vanity table. Picture delicate engravings and intricate designs, making the mundane task of nail buffing feel like a luxurious affair.


As we moved into the 20th century, innovation took center stage. Electric nail buffers made their debut, promising quicker results with less elbow grease. These contraptions were a game-changer, especially for those with a busy schedule or just a general aversion to manual labor. Who knew buffing could be so effortless?

But wait, there’s more! The modern era brought forth not only electric nail buffers but also a plethora of materials and designs. From sleek stainless steel to colorful plastic, there’s a nail buffer out there for every taste and preference. Some even come with built-in nail files and polishers, making them a multi-functional must-have for any beauty enthusiast.

Credit: Getty.

In recent years, there’s been a resurgence of interest in antique nail buffers. Collectors and vintage aficionados alike appreciate the craftsmanship and nostalgia these relics evoke. Plus, there’s something undeniably charming about using a tool that has stood the test of time.

So, whether you’re a fan of the old-school charm of antique nail buffers or prefer the convenience of modern electric ones, one thing’s for sure: nail care will always be a timeless pursuit. And who knows what the future holds? Perhaps we’ll see nail buffers that not only buff but also paint your nails in the blink of an eye. Now wouldn’t that be something?


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