The rather perfectly formed item pictured above is not, as a salon visitor wrongly guessed, a tea strainer. It is, in fact, a silver nipple shield. This would have been used to ensure the comfort of a nursing woman during months or years of breastfeeding, preventing any unpleasant chafing or soreness and hopefully ensuring that this particular element of motherhood went as smoothly as could be!
This is a beautiful example of a rather wonderful piece of domestic history and one can only imagine that it would have been used in a very fine household. No doubt the lady to whom it belonged was grateful for the respite her silver nipple shield brought, let alone the rather fine craftsmanship that went into creating it!