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A George III ballot box, probably used in a gentlemen’s club or a masonic lodge, is on offer for £1250 from dealer Gerald Mathias at The Old Cinema.

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A George III ballot box, probably used in a gentlemen’s club or a masonic lodge, is on offer for £1250 from dealer Gerald Mathias at The Old Cinema.

Committees would have used the object, which measures 17½ in (44cm) high, to vote or ‘ballot’ on proposed schemes using a small ball that members would insert into the top and drop down either the left (YES) or right (NO) of the funnel. The drawer at the bottom would then be pulled out, votes counted and the result announced.

The mahogany box, made in London c.1790, has a central finial above the funnel, which is set in a pagoda top above a square body.

The YES and NO are shadow painted and the locking reed-edged panel door opens to reveal two small drawers, marked Y and N. There is one large drawer below. It is the oldest of three ballot boxes offered online from The Old Cinema, which offers antique, vintage and retro stock.

It opened on Chiswick High Road in 1979 and offers 10,000 square feet of showrooms to a collective of antiques dealers. The premises operated as a picture house from 1908-34.

theoldcinema.co.uk