Paul Revere's Treasures Revealed
So what's inside? Conservator Pam Hatchfield excavated the treasure with a porcupine quill and a dental tool. The first layer contained five newspapers from the mid-nineteenth century--"in amazingly good condition," according to Hatchfield. In 1855, the original leather pouch interred by Revere and Adams was accidentally discovered and replaced by a sturdier brass box. At the time, contemporary newspapers were added. Underneath sat two dozen coins, including a rare 1652 pine tree shilling. Some of the silver pieces had newsprint stuck to them and some had been corroded by long-term water damage. The capsule also held a paper seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, "calling" cards, and a title page from a seventeenth-century Massachusetts Colony Records.
The objects will receive conservation treatment and go on exhibit for a brief time before reburial.
Great pictures of the contents are online, as is this short video.
Image: Michael Comeau and Pam Hatchfield of Boston's MFA. Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.