The French Butter Bell seems to have been invented in Normandy or Brittany in the early 1800's. Regions that were famous for producing butter at that time. Since the invention of the refrigerator took not place until 1876 preventing butter from getting rancid was a challenge.
"Mon Dieu" - what to do?! Why not stick some butter in a clay pot, turn it upside down in some water and see if that helps. And it did!
The butter bell's popularity had been on a decline, but seems to have been resurrected my all those who favor smooth, spreadable butter!