Mysterious Urn Filter: What is the intended use of this ceramic thing i picked up at an antiques fair?
Here are some (blurry) pictures:
1. Complete urn
2. Urn pieces
3. Urn pieces standing
4. Urn opening
5. Inside shaft
I bought this little urn-looking thing at an antiques fair as a nice bibelot, but I'm still wondering what it is intended to "do."
The thing unscrews into three pieces: one is a ceramic ring; the other is a metallic base which fits onto the bottom; and the other is a metallic shaft with a point (the urn "top") that has perforated openings around it. The top shaft slides into the ceramic ring and screws into the bottom base, locking it all together.
I wanted to think this had something to do with incense or the like, but when you flip over the top piece, the shaft is blocked by a plasticky/waxy...thing -- a stopper, maybe -- that doesn't allow for an unobstructed opening to the top perforations. It seems to be pretty solidly wedged in there, too (i.e., by design, not accidental).
The whole item is no more than 2'' tall and 1'' wide; it fits in the palm of the hand. The bottom base is shaped kind of like a "dish," but when sealed together, there is very little room from the dish base to the plastic/whatever blockage to suggest that one could fit anything in there.
Maybe the openings on top are ornamental, but I still feel as if this is intended to store something smoke/incense/perfume/drug related. Why else would it come apart?
Help me, MeFi sleuths!