The following description was prepared by William Gross:
In Jewish tradition the end of the Sabbath and other Jewish Holidays is marked by the ceremony of Havdalah (Separation) that differentiates between the Holy nature of the holdiay and the profane nature of the following day. This ritual is accomplished by lighting a special candle with several wicks, drinking wine from a cup and the inhalation of the sweet smell of spices. In the Ashkenazi world these spices were usually held in a container which was often shaped in varying forms.
This early spice container set on a base, creating a sort of tower form. Though unmarked, the form and exquisite workmanship suggest the early 18th century date assigned to other parallel objects. The base and cast silver column supporting the upper part are know as well from early examples. While there are very few such spice containers, others do exist in the collections of the Israel Museum and the Jewish museum New York. The container is gilded and was attained a soft golden patina.