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The two things which came to mind for me would be either a small clock or a glass shade and holder for a candle. I doubt that tealight type candles would have been popular when this was likely made and a regular thin tall candle would sit very high if mounted in this ceramic vase.
Maybe a clock could sit in the top. There is a screw-on type of attachment that is about a sixteenth of an inch high in it. And a candle would wobble if put in there. That attaches to a long "pipe" that goes through the porcelain and has a bolt on the bottom that you can tighten, almost like a lamp. But this is definitely not a lamp base. Thanks Mark.
It's missing the top lid, these were often broken and tossed. It looks to be one "vase" from a garniture set, which were made from the 17th century to the 1950's or so as decoration for fireplace mantles (not meant to be a functional vase). Looks like a later one, 20th century, based on the casting quality. Closeup look at the images and how they were done (transfer vs. hand-painted) and looking for similar base metal style could point you to exactly when where and who made it. But there were a ton made by different companies in different countries so it will take some work. Here's a complete set: https://www.ebay.com/itm/French-19th-C-Gilt-Metal-Mantel-Clock-Garn...
Thanks Jeff. When I look at the image with a jewelers loop I can see the paint as if it were hand painted. Sure wish it had the top. It gives me a start as to what to search for.
Link has similar shape, brass handles, foot is different. Says it's a compote, but compotes don't have lids. Candy dishes have lids but it doesn't look like it's for candy.
My guess (guesses) is that the holey bottom comes out and is used for flowers as a "frog". Urns usually come in pairs, two to a headstone. Urns are used for flowers at cemetery. Funerary vase?
link on Etsy, note price $32. includes lid. Lacking same, $5. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/359654720233475378/ Sorry, listing expired. Maybe you can find it...I searched google: urn brass handles brass foot ceramic urn Note: I find that repeating key words get better results.
Thanks Tom. You pointed me in the right direction. I found this on Ebay. Unfortunately mine doesn't have the lid but it is made the same way with the top (under the lid) and the bottom with the holes.
I appreciate everyone's help.
Urns are also used to hold remains (ashes) of loved ones. Glad we could help.
I saw that some are used for that. This doesn't have a "container" to hold anything. Thanks again.