(The). Ball Hughes, one of the dandies in the days of
the Regency. He paid some fabulous prices for his dressing cases
(flourished 1820-1830). Ball married a Spanish dancer.
He shirked a duel and this probably popularised the pun Golden Ball,
Leaden Ball, Hughes Ball.
The three golden balls.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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