I receive new information and requests for information almost every week. Recently this unique item was brought to my attention. It's a handsome relief molded pitcher with a brass tag attached to the handle by a brass wire.
One side is inscribed "Ball Hughes Favorite Pitcher". The other side is inscribed "E.B.H. to Daniel B. Steadman with kind regard, Nov 26th 1868". "EBH" are the initials of Eliza Ball Hughes, Robert Ball Hughes wife.
This gift was given about 8 months after Ball Hughes death in March, 1868. A Daniel B. Steadman was born in 1826 in South Boston and was presumably a friend of the Ball Hughes family.
This item has been in one family for over 40 years. The owner's grandmother was a collector of American antiques and may have picked it up at auction (Sounds like the Antique Roadshow!). This pitcher is English, about 9" tall and in perfect condition.
The pitcher is a type of thinly potted stoneware with moulded designs, popular during the years 1830's-60's. (I believe it may be known as creamware.) They were inexpensive but artistic, and used to serve a variety of hot and cold liquids, including water, beer, milk, mulled ale and wine.
The pitcher was registered in 1857 according to the English registry mark on the bottom. It could have been made in 1857 or within a few years after registration of the design. Today, this type of pitcher can sell for over $500.
Many thanks to Sally Rude for providing the images and information above.