Bale seals served two basic purposes in the colonial period with some variation in form and function.
Their primary function was to provide proof that cloth or other goods had met the standard set by the guild which controlled the materials in the bale.
Wooden frame held together with wooden pegs, spindle decorative trim at all four sides, pierced tin center with swinging door exposing the removable tinned charcoal pan, iron wire handle intact.
See example #1444 in Neumann's book "Early American Country Furnishings" page 326.
Well used with one area of slip being rubbed, small base chip [trivial].