This was a present from an old friend from Fredericksburg — a colonial stoneware candleholder. I used to sell these from time to time from the gift shop of The Rising Sun Tavern living history museum there. (Yes, I was indeed one of those character-interpreting tour guides — I was “the tavernkeeper’s son” and I was better at it than you’d guess.)
This thing is really damned neat. I love it. It brings back memories of working summers and weekends as a college student at a job that was a lot more fun than most others.