Recently, we were cleaning out my grandparents house and found a couple of tools in the kitchen that were odd. One is this narrow metal tube with a star pattern of holes on the end. The cap on the other end has the same pattern. It is 1 inch in diameter and 6-5/8 inches long.

My first thought was that it was a shaker for some sort of baking ingredient, but the puzzling part is that the holes are on both ends, which doesn't seem very practical. Does anyone know what this would have been used for?

Side view of narrow metal tube

End view of narrow metal tube showing punch star pattern of holes

  • 1
    What size is it? I can imagine some kind of "holds whole spices during cooking soup or tea" depending at the size... Jan 16, 2023 at 13:49
  • 2
    How long is it? And it's hollow inside from end to end with nothing of note within? You get steel rolling pins that look a bit like that, but they seem to generally have closed ends and are often solid metal, not hollow.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 16, 2023 at 15:18
  • I've found some cigar holders that are suspiciously similar, but no holes though. sirjacks.com/products/vintage-sterling-double-cigar-holder Jan 16, 2023 at 15:34
  • I've added some dimensions to the post. @Allerleirauh, I had thought of that but it would be a very awkward and inefficient shape for steeping spices.
    – lehasb
    Jan 17, 2023 at 3:48
  • @StuartF, much too small to be a rolling pin. Completely hollow inside and walls are relatively thin, not a very solid construction.
    – lehasb
    Jan 17, 2023 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


The two ends of the tube look different, that on the left has a raised ring and presumably the separate removable cap fits there. I assume the other end is non-removable and is shown the right hand image in the second photo.

In that case I'm thinking of a function like letting flavour, moisture or an aroma in or out. For example put vanilla beans in then bury it in a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar or fill with herbs to use as a Bouquet Garni for soup, stock, stews or perhaps for flavouring a punch so the spices can be kept separate from the liquid.

A non-culinary use might be something like fill with lavender flowers to keep in the linen drawer and perfume the sheets.

  • There’s plenty of things one could use it for, but do you have evidence that that was its intended use?
    – Sneftel
    Jan 28, 2023 at 21:57

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