I've been contacted by a curator at a marine museum who is trying to identify an item in their collection which she believes has been mislabeled as a telegraph insulator.
If anyone can identify this item please let me know. I do not know the material from which it is constructed.
*****Thanks to Elton, James Doty, and Bob Berry the piece has been identified as the anode to a very old liquid cell battery used for powering telegraph. It's called a zinc crow's foot anode and photos of it can be found in the second set of links at: