While visiting the American Period Rooms at the Met yesterday I stumbled upon an odd contraption called a monteith that kept popping up in all the 18th century rooms.
What is this thing? Well, the historical purpose of a monteith is to rinse and chill wine glasses. The crenellations at the top hold inverted glasses and allow their heads to be submerged under cold water.
The monteith's shape has inspired designs for lots of contemporary cachepots, bowls, and sporting trophies. And they still make very pretty centerpieces.