The washing of clothes and linens in times past, even if one could employ the service of a professional, was a laborious task. Part of the laundry equipment may have been a stamp or marker for identifying the owner of said clothing.
Among a few treasures purchased years ago was just such a marker. Dating from the later 19th Century Victorian era. The base is made of cast iron with the turned handle made of wood. At the side of the cast iron base is a small detailed thumb screw.