The following description was prepared by William Gross:
The pointer used by the Torah reader to keep the place is known in European communities as the *yad, "hand," or the etẓba, "finger," and in Sephardi and Eastern communities as the moreh, "pointer," or kulmus, "quill," the former because of its function and the latter because of its shape. Halakhic sources also use the terms moreh or kulmus. The pointer was originally a narrow rod, tapered at the pointing end, usually with a hole at the other end through which a ring or chain could be passed to hang the pointer on the Torah scroll. An additional reason for using the pointer was to prevent the oily finger from touching the parchment and inked letter, something that would eventually cause severe deterioration.
The original form of the pointer was preserved in Eastern communities, the differences from one community to another being mainly in length and ornamentation. In certain communities, a hand with a pointing finger was added, and accordingly, the pointer came to be known as a yad, "hand," or eẓba, "finger." Pointers are made for the most part of silver or silver-plated brass, but in a few European communities, they used to be made of wood. In such cases, the pointers were carved in the local folk-art style.
This very elegant Torah pointer is more reminiscent of those made in Italy in the 18th century than the 19th, but this artist from Ancona worked in the first decades of the 19th. The elegant sculptured upper part leads to a flat portion that carries the inscription and ends in a graceful gilded hand. The inscription is a later inscription by almost 50 years. This happened when a new donor, to acknowledge his gift to the congregation, wished his name to be put on a previously owned piece of the community. It also happened when an object was damaged and the person who paid for the repair wished to be acknowledged by an inscription.
Inscription: For the honor of the Lord and His Torah: belonging to the valued Yitzhak Menachem of Fermi, may the Lord sustain him and grant him favor / given in the month of Elul in the year 5668  of the Creation of the World