A coaster/thermometer/cork holder
It is not often that I see something that is English, Antique and wine-related and which I have never seen before - but this is just such a piece - or is it? It looks English, but there are a couple of giveaway features which point to it being French.
It is a coaster for a bottle - not a decanter - as it is designed to take something which is only 10 cm. (4") diameter. The base is simple like an electroplated coaster with a turned oak base and baize lined underside. From the side, a plain slim rod is held vertically and which can be removed by lifting from its slot. Near its top end is a short length of fine chain attached to a twisted spike, and at the top and bottom are two narrow cylinders. Slotting into the cylinders is a thermometer which is calibrated from 0 - 20 C above which is a 'hilt-like' holder.
It is obvious that it is intended to hold a bottle, to measure the temperature of the wine and to hold the cork, skewered in the twisted spike.
On the outside of the coaster are the initials HGH. The font of the initials and the 'C' on the thermometer look decidedly French.
What a joy - a lovely, practical, wine accessory and one which didn't cost the earth!