Forge iron, 16” in length, with circular top, and ball terminal handle. See Furniture Treasury, Nutting #3879 for a near-identical example. Fire was essential to survival and before matches were invented, various devices were used to create them. These tongs were used to transfer a wood ember from a fireplace to ignite a fire in another room or location. There are pictures of men lighting their pipes with embers held in such tongs as well.