The stays, or corsets worn by women between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries had busks made of wood, ivory, or bone slipped into a pocket in the front center of the corset and tied in place with a lace. These were intended to keep the front of the corset straight and upright.  These busks were often carved and decorated, or inscribed with messages, and were popular gifts from men to their sweethearts.

This one features a well executed heart and geometric carvings on the face, and some vine carving and a date on the back, which appears to be by a different, less artistic carver. Approximately 10-3/4" long x 2-1/2" wide.