WHAT IS THIS?
item... some years ago when I lived in the old building on 17th street. There was a wicker table in the lobby that people used as sort of a trade post of sorts, leaving things they couldn't bear to throw out but didn't want any longer. A paperback, a small lamp, the vase that came with that flower delivery, and on one occasion when I was returning home from work, this...um....contrap--object. I snagged it, thinking it looked quaint and imagining it lending a certain rustic-y, shabby chic flair to the kitchen I fantasized about having one day--the kind of kitchen where there's room for hanging copper pots, a collection of colorful teapots, and enough counter space for something like this...thing.
Realizing quickly that I had no idea what to do with it, I put it away, and shortly thereafter, forgot about it. Then when I moved, I rediscovered it, decided I'd take it with me and figure out its purpose once I got settled. Of course it shortly got relegated to a cupboard over the fridge that I can't reach and I went back to forgetting all about it. Until fairly recently, when a certain tall person in my apartment discovered the underused cabinet and pulled out this...thing. He agreed it was way too cool to get rid of, and it must do SOMETHING, right?
We did some online research, and asked our Italian-speaking cousin if he had any clues. So far I've come up with:
~ a terra cotta steak cooker (I find this very doubtful, but you'd be surprized how many people claim this) ~ an omlette pan of sorts ~ a grilled cheese sandwich press ~ a device by which one makes some sort of Italian flat bread
~ some sort of fireplace tool ~ a bed warmer, sort of hard stone hot water bottle.
Mostly, no one has any idea what it's for. Maybe it's not even a kitchen item. There's no brand or company name anywhere on it, and the only text on it says something about it not being patented...or something.
Right now it's sort of an objet d'art, displayed with the hopes that some day, some how, someone will walk into our apartment, spot it and cry, "Oh my god! You have a _________ !!" And then we'll know.
Maybe I'll have to take it on antiques roadshow.
(A bewildered) Mouse