What is this?

By John Nasci; posted February 28, 2018

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I found this item when I was a kid in the late 60's in an area of my family's property that was where out buildings for a dairy farm were located. It perhaps came from a milk house or tack shop or maybe a blacksmith shop.

It is ceramic but has the weight of a steel piece of the same size. There are groves that wind around the piece from one end to the other and the grooves appear to have held some sort of wire or cord. There are holes at the top and bottom where whatever was found around it went through.

I'm guessing a heating coil of some sort. Any suggestions to identify this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.