The Victoria & Albert Museum
Called a “Cat” because it always landed on its legs, this type of stand was composed of six radiating spokes. Three spokes faced down and three faced up. So, if it were dropped in any direction, it would always land in its “feet.”
Small stands such as this English one were convenient is an much as they were portable. They had many uses. This example, dating to between 1760 and 1820, was used to hold plates. Other examples of “cats” were probably used to support bowls of flowers, keeping them off of easily-marred tabletops, or ladies' work baskets.