Spectacles: Party Spirit

"I have," said the auctioneer, "a man for sale for four hours or a day or a night." Someone bid $50. "But this is a man,'' pleaded the auctioneer. "You can't just bid 50—he weighs more than that." The bids went to $55, $250, $300. At the sum of $350 Auctioneer Leonard Bernstein brought his gavel down; thus was Actor Richard Burton, the star of Camelot, acquired by Elsa Maxwell.

This genteel exercise in white slavery occurred in the home of Italian Ambassador to the U.N. Egidio Ortona at an auction to raise money for Gian Carlo Menotti's Festival of Two...

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