I can only imagine that the house was once plagued by werewhales and it was used to harpoon them.
It's over 9 feet long!
The next item is also located near/on the hearth. There are a few more through out the house though.
Perhaps it is a yoke for the world's smallest ox? Maybe baby oxen??
I'm all out of ideas...
In other news, we have cable and internet! woohoo! It was a hard 2 days without it. When the installers came out I asked "So on a scale of 1 to 10, how creepy is this house?"
He replied with "Oh it's not that bad but then again I've never been in here at night."