Search our collections

Buffalo Lodge Masonic Ballot Box

Rare antique wooden ballot box from the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. Comes complete with a number of black and white voting balls.  This type of secret voting is where the phrase 'blackballed' comes from, as the black balls represent a negative vote on the topic of choice. The box is carved on all sides, and inside the upper 'tunnel' is a divider for the black or white ball to be dropped into a drawer at the bottom.  Once all the votes have been cast, the drawer is opened & the results presented. The RAOB is similar to the Free Masons, and dates back to the early 19th Century, with the earliest known records dating this fraternal society to 1822 at an inn near to Drury Lane Theatre. The society was formed by stage hands & theatre technicians employed in the London theatre scene, following their exclusion from the Order of the City of Lushington, which was a similar society for actors and variety artists.  The ballot box is in excellent condition with only minor signs of age and use.

Measures: 34cm tall x 27cm wide x 25cm deep