They were camp as Chloe and enjoyed lives of spectacular frivolity in the bosom of the aristocracy. And as William Russell reveals, the legacy of inimitable Scots dandy Bunny Roger and his brothers, which goes on sale this week, is an Aladdin's cave of objets d'art

The Roger brothers, Alan, Neil and Alexander, were aesthetes, which is another way of saying they were as camp as

the legendary Chloe. But they were more than three rich fairies. They were collectors of works of art, men who lived life to the full, flamboyantly in the case of Neil, less so in the case of the other two, and who naturally never married. They were also Scots.

Neil, known to the world as Bunny, because his nurse described him as a baby as ''looking like a dear little bunny rabbit'', was the most celebrated of the trio, or possibly the most notorious, an ornament in the more louche salons of Mayfair and Piccadilly for decades. All three lived to a ripe old age, added glamour to the lives of those whose

paths they crossed, and left behind an Aladdin's cave of objets d'art, the cream of which goes on sale at Sotheby's in London from January 28-30. The items, furniture, pictures, candelabra, pottery, and Bunny's amazing wardrobe of suits and dresses, are expected to raise

around #1.5m.

Their father, Alexander Roger, born in Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, in 1878, was the archetypal Scotsman on the make who emigrated to London and embarked

on a business career as an accountant. But it was his friendship with three Liverpudlian sisters, whose family business was automatic telephones, which set him on the road to making

the fortune and helped sustain the lifestyle his sons chose to enjoy. He ended up chairman of the Telephone and General Trust Ltd with a worldwide telecommunications empire.

The First World War helped him, as wars so often do, to become a gentleman, by providing opportunities for him to exercise his talents. He was knighted

in 1917 for his contribution to the

war effort. He was involved in organising the Motor Ambulance Department of

the British Red Cross, and the Trench Warfare Supply Department of the Ministry of Munitions. He also sat

on the Council of the Ministry of Reconstruction.

In 1908 he married Helen Clark, daughter of a provost of Leith, whom he had met at Crouch End tennis club, probably the last naff place to feature in the lives of any of the family, although Alan did ultimately buy a London

home in Clapham. Helen Roger was a charismatic woman, stunningly beautiful - her portrait by William Acton is in the sale - and socially ambitious, who was a huge influence on her three children. It was a classic case summed up in the old joke which goes: ''My mother made me a homosexual.'' ''If I give her the wool will she knit one for me.''

Lady Roger seems to have had no qualms about her boys, and Sir Alexander bore the fact that he was to have no heirs with stoicism. If the boys wanted dolls' houses and liked dressing up, then they could have the one and do the other. They adored their mother, respected their father. Lady Roger had a waspish wit. To the dinner guest who told her she had not been able to make up her mind whether to dress up or down for the occasion, she replied sweetly: ''Well, which did you decide?''

Alan, who read history at Trinity College, Oxford, went into the City, working as a broker. When the Second World War broke out he joined the Red Cross in France, won an MBE at Dunkirk, then joined with the Ministry of Supply in India. He went into the Indian Army, finishing as a lieutenant colonel, and, finding military life suited him, stayed on until 1952, working in military intelligence in Teheran and Hong Kong, after which he returned to London and set up house on his own.

Bunny, who had been sent down

from Balliol in 1937, where he was reading history, for indulging in

corrupt homosexual practices, was the original gilded youth regarded by his contemporaries as a beauty, although fashions in that respect have changed. He moved in the set formed by Terence Rattigan and Frederic Ashton, a gang dismissed by Evelyn Waugh, the chronicler of the times, as ''lesbian tarts and joyboys''. With #1000 from his father he opened a couturier's shop in Bruton Street where his clients included the likes of the Lygon sisters, Vivien Leigh and the Duchess of Kent - who knew a thing or two about gay men herself, having married one.

Camp Bunny may have been, but he

too had a good war. He joined the Rifle Brigade, fought at Anzio, and saved the life of a wounded soldier abandoned in No Man's Land. His courage was in no way diminished by the odd chiffon scarf to lighten the dull khaki uniform and a dash of rouge on the cheeks to do the same for the old complexion. While having bits of people fly past one's nose at Anzio was perfectly awful, he said later, it was not as bad as being at school. Their father, hoping to make men of his sons, had sent them to Loretto.

After the, war Bunny and Alexander, known as Sandy, set up house together in Walton Street and partied memorably. Bunny's New Year parties held in London, and later at the brothers' Scottish home, were scandalous almost to the end.

One famous fetish party in London in 1956, at which men in bondage straps and high-heels arrived dragging their wives in chains behind them, ended up in the People. Sir Alexander was not best pleased, but Lady Roger took it in her stride. ''I wonder how that man managed to walk in those high-heeled shoes all night,'' she said. Bunny always celebrated his birthdays with a drag ball. He marked the coronation in 1953 with a ball at which he appeared as Queen Alexandra.

His sixtieth was the occasion for a diamond jubilee ball dressed in appropriate drag, his 70th for an Amethyst one -

''Why amethyst?''asked Margaret, Duchess

of Argyll. ''Because I like mauve,'' retorted Bunny - to which he wore an amethyst-coloured sequin-covered catsuit with feathered head-dress to match, Lot 1204 in the sale.

For his eightieth he held a Flame Ball where the cat suit was made of flame-coloured sequins and he sported a cape of bright orange organza (Lot 1205). It was his final party, attended by 400 guests, although he had plans for one to be called Hades.

He opened the haute couture department at Fortnum and Mason on being demobbed, and then invested in Hardy Amies's business, working there as a couturier until he retired in 1973. By this time he was living in Addison Road, Kensington, in a house which was

a tribute to his love of all things Gothic. Sandy, his younger sibling, who had been encouraged by their father to go into the family business, shared the house with him, until Sandy's death in 1980.

Bunny dressed in suits he designed himself in the Teddy Boy Edwardian mode, high collars, curly-brimmed bowlers, drainpipe pants without turn-ups in the palest pastels or occasionally bright yellow, and was a sight for sore eyes when he went walking.

Did he mind being stared at? ''I'm very cross if people don't,'' he said. He was said to be implacably conservative, admired things royal, and refused to be categorised as gay. ''You can't call queer men gay,'' he said. ''Apart from anything else, they're all so miserable. The Greeks were more accurate when they called the Furies the Kindly Ones.''

Dividends from the American telephone companies provided money for an art fund which the brothers spent. They bought Regency furniture before it became popular, and Dresden china. Alan, who was fascinated by the East, commissioned Chinese scroll paintings and bought ceramics from Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, all in the sale.

He lived in Dundonnell, an eighteenth- century house at the head of Little Loch Broom, Ullapool, surrounded by a 30,000-acre estate the brothers acquired in the mid-fifties, where it was de rigueur for weekend guests to wear the kilt. Since it was not a garment which featured in the wardrobes of the cosmopolitan chums he had a supply

to hand. Alan was a widely respected horticulturalist, a judge at Chelsea Flower Show, a trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland and chairman of their Modern Art Advisory Committee. He was vice-president of the National Trust for Scotland from

1982-95 and a council member of the Contemporary Arts Society from 1980-90.

Alexander, the youngest brother, known as Sandy, was the one who went into the family business, ending up as a governor of the Globe Investment Trust. Alan, a colourful local character in Wester Ross, died aged 88 in July last year, three months after Bunny.

The brothers had taste, and what makes the sale - which consists of the contents of Dundonnell, Addison Road and the Clapham house - interesting is the variety of items. The highlight is probably Lot 134, a set of 12 giltwood dining chairs from the private apartments at Windsor Castle made for George II and used at Dundonnell. There is, quite simply, something for everyone.

As for the Rogers brothers, they don't knit them quite like that any more.