|Cast iron mortar and pestle.|
The description claimed this was antique, from the 1787, I think that's a bit far fetched, more likely the date (cast into the mortar on the back side and visible in the rotation video) is a patent date or the date of the founding of the company that made it. It's quite common for many items to have stamped or engraved dates far earlier than the date on which that particular example was actually made.
This is an apothecary mortar and pestle, which means it was meant to be used to grind up and combine medicinal ingredients. In the past this was often done to order for individual customers using bulk ingredients, a practice that lives on today in various traditional systems (for example in Chinese medicine, where herbs and other ingredients are mixed up to order).
Source: eBay seller vintageandcollectables
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 14 June, 2008
Text Updated: 14 June, 2008