With Martha's help, I now have some idea what this is. I bought two of them at the thrift store a couple of years ago. Very inexpensive - half price actually. I've never known what they are until this week. Martha had an article about 'Collecting Jade Bonsai Trees' in the March issue of M.S. Living. Mine aren't trees, clearly; but they are created in the same way & the leaves & flowers pictured in the article are identical to these.
I still don't know the particular function of mine. My guess is that they are some type of centerpiece table decor item. Maybe for use with candles? They're just very pretty & nicely made - wire wrapped with silk thread, jade, rose quartz & carnelian flowers, & detailed carving on the leaves.