This magnificent object is a very grand container for frozen desserts. Both sweet and savoury ice creams - many made from vegetables as well as fruit -- were immensely popular in the early 19th century. They also represented the height of luxury as, at the time, obtaining ice meant you could either afford to buy ice imported from cold places around the world or you had a specially constructed ice-house on your estate in which your servants stored winter ice lifted from your lake. In the case of this particular cooler, the ice would have been placed in the bottom to keep the frozen dessert chilled on its long journey from kitchen to table. It's hard to imagine anything more opulent and impressive.
This ccoler was made at the Flight, Barr & Barr porcelain factory in Worcester. It is hand painted by the artist Thomas Baxter and embellished with 22 carat gold.