> What it looks like to me is some sort of infuser. You stuff
> leaves or other parts of plants into the center and drop it
> into a big stew pot. Later, you can remove it and get the
> leaves out of your stew while having gotten some sort of
> essence out of them. Though maybe it wasn't food related but
> used in the same way. Laundry treatment?
I had the similar idea before I saw your post that it could be used as an incense burner.