The firesteel, or 'strike-a-light' was a common tool in the time before the invention of the match.
They were typically made of high-carbon iron which would have been kept in a tinderbox along with a flint, tinder, and perhaps charcloth or touchwood. The user would hold the firesteel by its curved handle and strike the flint along the straight edge of the steel.
The flint (being harder than the strike-a-light) would flake off tiny pieces of steel which would instantly combust, and these tiny molten particles of steel would set fire to the tinder.
This particular firesteel dates from the 14th - 16th century, and measures around 9cm in length
Acquired by Timeless on the UK antiquities market in 2018. Formerly in a private Cambridgeshire collection.