The French were known for the high quality of their whitesmiths. It's hard to think that an implement as well decorated as this would have been made for kitchen use. The householder was obviously devoted to quality, and wanted it in everything she or he acquired. The attention to detail is apparent on the wheel on the spring -- not just a slide, but a functioning wheel. Sugar was sold in hard-packed cones, and sugar nippers cut off chunks that were served in sugar bowls and tranferred to cups of tea by sugar tongs.
Details and more photos.