It is for tears, he told me. When somebody died, the mourners put their tears into these bottles and wore them around their necks. So the little vase isn't really a vase — it's a bottle for mourners' tears, a sign of bereavement like the black armbands people wore up until the third or fourth decade of this century. Perhaps they buried the bottles with the deceased — maybe that's why my friend found three of them in the same place. I don't know.

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, Meditations on the Book of Psalms