I am thinking the small bevel gear nearest to us ma just be an idler. The stubby shaft has no means to transmit power into or out of the system.
If you look close on the side opposite, you can see another bevel gear that could be the input.
You can also see part of a large gear peeking up out of the case. If this gear box is for a ship, that is very likely on the prop shaft.
It is difficult to see, but it is possible there is a shift collar between the two large bevel gears. If there is it could give forward, neutral, reverse.
Trying to think what the straight cut gear on the right end of the shaft could be used for.
Just some speculation...
Just a reverse gear with reduction. Input is on the right. The first narrow gear runs a oil pump. The two large bevel gears are not fixed to the shaft. The shift mechanism is in the center. In neutral only the input shaft and pump are turning. In forward the power goes straight through. For reverse the two bevel gears are energized hydraulically. The gear reduction is on the left.
Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...w_fullsize.jpgImperial Airways aircraft refueling at Semakh, British Mandate Palestine October 1931.
Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...e_fullsize.jpgEngineers testing an RL-10 engine for a Centaur rocket at the NASA Lewis Research Center Propulsion Systems Laboratory, Cleveland, Ohio, 1960.