I bought these little antique pottery boots recently. I've had similar pairs before and I love them, the trouble is, I'm not completely certain what they were used for.
Useful pen holders?
They were made by Maw, Son & Sons, manufacturers of pharmaceutical instruments and useful, everyday china objects for those of a delicate constitution - invalid feeding cups, tooth paste pots, bed pans, inhalers for use with steam to clear the "tubes"...
...so I think they may have been used, filled with hot water, to warm a baby's bootees or shoes before taking the poor mite into the dangerous, winter world outside. What do you think?