"This is an email from a colleague, Dan Sivilich, a chemical engineer and battlefield archeologist, who was part of a team of five specialists to examine our two bullets
from the Boston Massacre. He was recently involved in the project he describes below—very cool, even if not numismatic in nature, still of interest to our community I am
"Some time ago my good friend Joel Bohy (Skinner Auctions and Antique Roadshow) contacted me about a lead (?) hand and arm that was found in a garden in Wilton, CT. Could
it be part of the famous King George III statue that was pulled down and chopped up in 1776 in the Bowling Green (lower Manhattan today) to be converted into musket balls?
"The pieces were sent to Litchfield, CT but stopped at Wilton, CT overnight. It was reported that British Loyalists stole pieces from the wagon to keep them from aiding
the Americans as bullets and hid them in the nearby swamp. Over the years, several pieces were found. Six are in the New-York Historical Society. In 2014 Michael Seibert,
archaeologist for the National Park Service, and I were granted permission to test 4 of the 6 pieces for their elemental content. Mike used an NPS pXRF (portable X-Ray
Fluorescence) unit and he tested the pieces and subsequently tested musket balls from the Battle of Monmouth looking for matches. 9 appeared to have high probabilities for being
from the statue, but that is a different story.
"So back to the hand ... Joel sent the piece to Dan Elliot (another friend of mine) of the Lamar Institute for pXRF testing. Dan sent me the results which I
compared to the data of the two larger N-YHS statue pieces. It looked like a near perfect match. To be sure, I sent both sets of data to another friend, Bruce Kaiser, inventor of
the Bruker pXRF. He agreed that it was a match. The hand/arm had the same elemental composition as the statue. Coupling this with the fact that it was found in an 18th Century
house that was once owned by a British Loyalist in the same town as the wagon spent the night, SLAM DUNK!
"I was sworn to secrecy about the project but Skinner auctioned the piece off on Monday. It was first listed as estimated to bring $5,000 - $10,000. That was later changed
to $15,000 - $20,000. Here is the link to what it actually sold for:"
Lead Hand, Wrist, and Forearm Likely from the Statue of King George III at Bowling Green, New York City