This is an antique silver plated small julep or toddy strainer that is marked “N. F. Nickel Silver Co.” The name “N. F. Nickel Silver Co.” was trademarked by Oneida Community of Niagara Falls, NY in 1886.
The following paragraph came from my Etsy listing of this strainer, which has since sold. Rereading it now, I have to laugh over the way I described the bent handle:
“This strainer measures only 3 and 7/8ths inches in length (now) and the bowl measures approximately 1 and 15/16ths inches wide. When it was originally made over one hundred years ago, it measured approximately 4 and 1/4 inches long but somewhere along the way between then and now someone bent the handle to its present configuration. Whether they didn’t know that the intended use for this was a toddy or julep strainer or they knew and didn’t care and bent it to conform to their use, I don’t know. I’ve seen these strainers called sugar sifters and tea strainers…”
A small size julep strainer was included in the 1886-87 Meriden Britannia catalog. Although identified as a small julep strainer within that catalog, I suspect that these small size strainers might have been used as toddy strainers as I’ve seen them referred to as such in other publications.
Pease see my blog post “The Victorian Bar” to read more about cocktail strainers in general: