In its June, 1851, issue the Scientific American carried an item about a metallic vessel that had been blasted out of an "immense mass of rock" when workmen were excavating on Meeting House Hill in Dorchester, Massachusetts. "on putting the two parts together, it formed a bell-shaped vessel, 4 1/2 inches high, 6 1/2 inches at the base, 2 1/2 inches at the top, and about an eighth of an inch in thickness. The body of this vessel resembles zinc in color, or a composition metal, in which there is a considerable portion of silver. On the sides there are six figures of a flower, or bouquet, beautifully inlaid with pure silver, and around the lower part of the vessel a vine, or wreath, inlaid also with silver. The chasing, carving, and inlaying are exquisitely done by the art of some cunning workman. This curious and unknown vessel was blown out of the solid pudding stone, fifteen feet below the surface.... Dr. J.V.C. Smith, who has recently travelled in the East, and examined hundreds of curious domestic utensils... has never seen anything resembling this.... There is no doubt but that this curiosity was blown out of the rock......
Recently, the present owner of this curious artifact wrote to Brad Steiger and informed him that the vessel is still unidentified after over one hundred years. According to Milton Swanson of Maine: "It had been given to Harvard College, but because of its mysterious origin they relegated it to a closet. The building supervisor finally brought it home to Medford, Mass. He sold it to me just before died in his eighties.
"Through the years I have has so-called experts look at it, and no one ever came up with an answer. Its age and use is just unexplainable. Its almost black, but the metal is composed of brass with zinc, iron, and lead. The inlay is pure silver, and I had to put lacquer on to protect it. I always felt that it was a burial ash container.
"The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has the world's finest and most complete laboratory, which was built in cooperation with M.I.T. I was able to have them run it through every kind of test for two years. Still no answer as to its period or origin."
I showed this to some people from India at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and they said it looks like something from India.
I talked to a geologist and he said that pudding stone is also known as conglomerate which is similar to concrete. Maybe you have an idea about this?