An exceptionally rare, 18th century Ballot Box most probably used by a gentleman`s private club or secret society. The miniature lidded chest comprising one full width and two half-width drawers, is craftsman made from mahogany with its original `Dutch drop` brass handles and raised on four original brass feet. The lid lifts to reveal an integral, chamfered top centred by a circular hole through which the ball was dropped. The lid served as a privacy shield in order that fellow members were unable to see which colour ball had been selected - white if you supported the candidate, black if you did not. After all votes had been cast, the top drawer would be opened and if it contained all white balls, the candidate was elected. If he was `blackballed`, he would be forbidden membership or not granted the post for which he was standing. A fascinating item of Georgian history, remaining complete with a selection of painted black and white clay balls and in exceptional condition. Circa 1740-60.