What Is It? Game 140: Upon Penalty of Death!

"Upon Penalty of Death" - that sounds downright gruesome, but this week's What Is It? game, is anything but! Can you tell us what the object above is used for?

Place your guess in the comment section. One guess per comment, please, but you can enter as many as you'd like. Please post no URL or web links - doing so will forfeit your entry.

Two prizes: the first correct guess and the funniest albeit incorrect guess will win a neat item from the NeatoShop's Newly Listed stuff (anything $20 or under, please!) IMPORTANT: Please write your prize selection alongside your guess, so head over ot the NeatoShop and take a look around, mmkay? If you don't make a prize selection, then you don't get the prize. You have until the answer is revealed at the What Is It? Blog.

For more clues, check out the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update 5/28/10 - The answer is: This is a message vial from the Civil War for carrying top secret plans, text on it reads:
43rd Virginia
Partisan Ranger Battalion
Not To Be Opened By Any Soldier With
Less Than Field or Staff Commission
Upon Penalty of Death


Congratulations to attorneyadrian who got it right first, and to Jaded Unicorn for the prototype of Mad Cow plush!

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A 19th century dildo. The words "Upon penalty of death" was a warning not to sit down while using it.

Would love a set of arrogant bastard glasses.
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