Mysterious Treasure Found at St. Paul's Chapel

Last year The Archivist's Mailbag reported on the discovery of an eighteenth century fire bucket in St. Paul's Chapel. The Chapel recently offered up two new treasures: a nineteenth century medicine bottle, and a curious metal ball.  The Archivist's Mailbag is looking for information about the ball.  What is it? Why was it in St. Paul's?  Use the comments section below to share your ideas. 


The metal ball is mysterious. It is 22 inches in diameter, hollow, and weighs around 2 pounds. It has a seam around its equator, what appears to be navy blue paint underneath a second shade of paint, and a round area where something may have been affixed to it. The metal itself looks reddish-brown.

The Archivist's Mailbag has a few theories, but we want to know what our readers think. Have you seen something like this before? Why was it in St. Paul's Chapel? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This Ayers Sarsaparilla bottle, with traces of the sarsaparilla still visible, is another recent discovery. 

A little internet research revealed that the bottle, marked "Ayers", "Sarsaparilla," "Lowell, MA", and "Compound Ext", is a common collectors item.  Ayers Sarsaparilla was a nineteenth century tonic, or patent medicine, made of suger, water, and herbs.  Advertisements for Ayers Sarsaparilla are also collectors items.  One advertising card, on display at the Hagley Museum and Library, reads: 
"Without doubt the discovery of America is Ayer’s Sarsaparilla...This is a compound concentrated extract composed of the Sarsaparilla-root of the tropics, Stillingia, Yellow Dock, Mandrake, and other roots held in high repute for their alterative, diuretic, tonic, and curative properties. An economical and reliable blood-purifying medicine."