Yale Society's Skull for Sale

Skull and Bones' ballot box expected to attract at least $10,000
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 5, 2010 5:27 PM CST
This undated photo provided by Christie's shows the 1872 ballot box belonging to Yale's secretive Skull and Bones society that is being offered for sale at Christie's New York City auction house.   ((AP Photo/Christie's) NO SALES)

(Newser) – A human skull that apparently was turned into a ballot box for Yale's secretive Skull and Bones society is going on the auction block. Christie's estimates the skull will sell for $10,000 to $20,000 when auctioned on Jan. 22. Fittingly, the auction house has agreed to keep the seller's name a secret. It described the person only as a European art collector.

The skull is fitted with a hinged flap and is believed to have been used during voting at the society's meetings. The auction house said it also may have been displayed at the society's tomb-like headquarters on Yale's campus in New Haven, Conn., during the late 1800s. Skull and Bones has closely guarded its members' names and its activities since the early 1970s. Publicly known members, known as Bonesmen, include William Howard Taft, both presidents Bush, and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

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