Ever since I first became properly domesticated (long after I left Gateshead!) I've wondered what on earth use this and similar "biscuit barrels" could have been. Air tight they were not and biscuits (aka cookies) would have become soft in a day or two. At the table, weren't biscuits normally presented on a plate rather in one of these?
Just curious, as we made and sold a lot. Unwanted presents, perhaps? Come to think of it, we have one (2487 as it happens) containing cotton wool balls.