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Looks a lot like a conventional "hourglass" egg timer except the bottom bulb is much bigger than the top, and has a tube running down from the "pinch".
Thus the sand can run through, but when the unit is inverted, it pools around the tube and cannot flow back into the other bulb.
Reinventing the egg timer
[Ling]'s oiriginal idea [8th of 7, Feb 14 2011]
||Pretty sure that is [Ling]'s idea?
||This would be pretty useful for checking if a package was,
in fact, stored upside down.
||And when the egg is done, you break the timer and use the salt that you thought was sand.