What is this Ceramic Container?

I found this at a goodwill and have no clue what it is ??

enter image description here

  • 3
    Can you add a picture of the inside, or bottom of the "lid." I suspect you may have a butter bell of unusual design, but it is hard to tell.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Oct 11, 2013 at 16:55
  • are there two lids? Does the one shown on the container sit inside the jar, like for stamping the contents down?
    – paul
    Oct 11, 2013 at 17:26
  • need more pictures like what's underneath that chimney thing. Can you take a picture with a quarter next to it for size? Initial guess is it could be a butter crock but it wouldn't need that lid. Dish to make terrines? the lid used for presentation? Oct 15, 2013 at 6:06

2 Answers 2


Its a butter bell / butter keeper. My parents have one. You put water in the bottom, butter in the bell under the top/lid and that forms an airtight seal allowing you to keep the butter at room temperature.

Here's one for sale showing both parts clearly.


  • The link is dead due to bitrot. Can you find something better? Perhaps posting an image would be more durable ?
    – Criggie
    Feb 7, 2022 at 8:54

It's a French butter dish, used for keeping butter fresh without refrigerating it.

  • This is what others suggested in the comments. But we cannot really tell without seeing what's underneath. And besides, what is the second (flat) lid good for in a butter dish?
    – rumtscho
    Oct 16, 2013 at 9:09

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