what is this unusual piece of a dinnerware set

Waukegan, IL(Zone 5a)

I have been trying for years to find out what the purpose of this piece was. It is 4 inches wide and there is one for every place setting. The pattern is Briar Rose by Pope Gosser. I bought the set with 100 pieces for $25 in the 1970's. I found a picture of this piece in an online publication about the history of the Pope Gosser company but the only description was "square dish with raised square hold". Hold what? That's my question. The hole is too small and shallow to safely hold a candle, even the tiny tapers. It looks like it could possibly have been for a cigarette. But that would mean the cigarette would be sticking straight up - seems odd. A few of the pieces are badly crazed like maybe cigarettes had been stubbed out in them. Maybe in the 1920's everybody would have been smoking at the dinner table?? Has anyone seen these before and does anyone know what they are?

Thumbnail by chris_h
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