SIR WILLIAM ORPEN RA RHA. PORTRAIT OF GERTRUDE. Estimate $46,000-$61,000. Photo via Sworders SIR WILLIAM ORPEN RA RHA. PORTRAIT OF GERTRUDE. Estimate $46,000-$61,000. Photo via Sworders

The sale features a portrait with an exciting backstory, namely Sir William Orpen's portrait of Gertrude, Countess of Dudley. The painting has an estimate of $46,000-$61,000. Sworders' MD, Guy Schooling, describes the piece: "As well as being an intriguing picture of one of the most fascinating and photographed women of the age, it is a fine portrait by one of the most talented artists ever to come out of Ireland – and this is a rare opportunity to acquire such a work."

Just before the World War I, Countess Gertrude was causing all sorts of scandals and was beginning to pull the finest members of British Society down with her. It was even suspected King George V and Queen Mary had to intervene in order to prevent the scandal.

Gertie Millar was born in 1879 in Bradford. She began her career as an actress at the age of 13 at the St James's Theatre in Manchester. In 1897, Gertie moved to London where she became a fast favorite on the stage. In 1902 she married Lionel Monckton, an esteemed composer of musical comedies who also wrote a many of Gertude's hit songs. Their marriage was far from perfect. There were rumors of Gertie's infidelity, specifically an affair with the Duke of Westminster. This eventually lead to both Gertie and the Duke asking for a divorce from their respective partners so they were free to wed each other. However, Monckton refused to divorce Gertie and George V and Queen Mary had to intervene in order to prevent the Duke of Westminster from divorcing his wife, which would have resulted in a scandal.

In 1924, Gertie's husband passed away. She then married the Earl of Dudley, William Humble Ward (1867-1932). His family had made their fortune from the mines and ironwork, and in 1885 he succeeded his earldom. Gertie and her second husband spent the rest of their lives in Le Touquet, where they befriended their neighbor P.G. Wodehouse.

From her humble beginnings in Yorkshire she became Lady Dudley, and one of the best-loved stars and most photographed women of the Edwardian era. The Countess of Dudley died at her home in Chiddingfold in 1952 aged 73. She left an estate valued at $80,430.

In 2012 the National Portrait Gallery held an exhibition entitled Gertie Millar, Countess of Dudley: From Stage to Society. The gallery included an extensive collection of photographs of Gertie.

A Royal scandal is just the tip of the iceberg, here are Barnebys top picks from the sale.

Henri Jean Guillaume Martin. SAINT-CIRQ-LAPOPIE. Estimate $123,000-$154,000. Photo via Sworders Henri Jean Guillaume Martin. SAINT-CIRQ-LAPOPIE. Estimate $123,000-$154,000. Photo via Sworders

French artist Henri Jean Guillaume Martin's piece Saint-Cirq-Lapopie has an impressive provenance, it was sold at Sotheby's in New York on 12th November 1988 for $137,500. This piece has an estimate of $123,000-$154,000.

THOMAS HUDSON. PORTRAIT OF MARY. Estimate $12,300-$18,400. Photo via Sworders THOMAS HUDSON. PORTRAIT OF MARY. Estimate $12,300-$18,400. Photo via Sworders

Thomas Hudson's Portrait of Mary, Daughter of Sir William Browne, Wife of William FFolkes, Three-Quarter Seated, in a Silver Dress with Lace Collar and Sleeves and White Lace Bonnet, signed, will be hit the auction block with an estimate of $12,300-$18,400. The painting is signed and was later inscribed 'Mary Dr & heiress of Sir Wm Browne, 2d. Wife of W Folkes Esq ob.1773 aet.52' u.r.

AN EXTRAORDINARY BLACK FOREST CARVED WALNUT CENTRE TABLE. Estimate $4,600-$7,700. Photo via Sworders AN EXTRAORDINARY BLACK FOREST CARVED WALNUT CENTRE TABLE. Estimate $4,600-$7,700. Photo via Sworders

This stunning Black Forest carved walnut centre table has an estimate of $4,600-$7,700. The sale includes a total of four lots of Black Forest carvings. It dates back to the late 19th century, signed, possibly with 'M.. Eugiane', the circular top carved in low relief with a central panel of chamois in a forest landscape within a broad border of fruiting vines and birds, over a frieze carved with busts in high relief, the triform base boldly carved as a tree trunk with forest animals and figures.

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