Portrait of racy duchess up for auction

May 25, 2005 at 2:20 PM

LONDON, May 25 (UPI) -- The Duchess of Argyll cut quite a swathe in her heyday and now a portrait of her is about to make its mark at a London auction.

The portrait of Margaret Campbell by Gerald Brockhurst is expected to bring more than $27,000 when it is offered at auction next month, The Scotsman reported. Brockhurst also painted a portrait of the Duchess of Windsor that sold for nearly $119,000 in 1998.

The duchess, who died in 1993, gained notoriety when during divorce proceedings in 1963 Polaroids of her wearing a strand of pearls and high heels while engaging in a sexual act with a man were introduced in court. The man in the picture was not identified since his head was not visible. However, rumor had it the man was either former Defense Minister Duncan Sandys or actor Douglas Fairbanks.

The duchess, who described herself as "always vain," was also the subject of an opera by Thomas Ades, "Powder Her Face."

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