Several days ago I was visiting a neighbor, and he showed me this antique bronze pitcher that was used for heating oil in the Ocracoke lighthouse lamp before lighting the wick. This would have been used until 1929 when the lighthouse was electrified.[This correction was posted June 18: the warming pitcher was probably discontinued soon after 1877 when kerosene was substituted for lard oil. See my comment at 9:52 AM, below.]
With a magnifying glass I was able to read the embossed name of the manufacturer: "A. Gruet & CiF Paris 11 Ple St. Sebastie."
A July 5th, 1884 letter from Boston resident, T.H. Bartlett to the editors of American Architect and Architecture, Vol 16, has this to say about the A. Gruet foundry: "There is one founder in Paris, A. Gruet, Jne., who as a nobleman as well as founder, is alone sufficient to sustain the reputation of France as a country where great work in bronze-casting is kept in an enviable state of perfection."
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the curious story of Vera/Charlie Williams. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052114.htm.