This is a very rare Swiss tobacco jar, modeled as a standing owl with glass eyes. The hinged head tilts back to reveal a compartment to hide tobacco in. The victorians loved hidden compartments.
The body of the owl is made from a horn and the head, wings, and feet are carved from Linden wood then stained and colored in the manner of Ruef brothers. We featured a piece by Ruef in our book “Swiss Carvings” The Art of The Black Forest page 90.