I am really delighted to have this item. I think I have possible only had one other in 30 plus years!
This is a 19th Cent Oyster Bucket in good condition. Brass with copper base, it is wonderful quality with dovetailed seaming and good weight. These were used in places such as Whitstable in Kent to collect the Oysters, Cockles, Winkles etc. The holes allowed the hoard to be washed through and the water run out. I believe (but this is supposition) that the whole Pail went into a pan of steaming water as is with contents intact, as it has that quality of an old cooking pan. That way the catch could then be tipped out cooked and ready to eat.