The only reason I was at Clarke & Simpson’s country auction in Suffolk was to buy a desk for my office. The Art Deco and Design auction in Campsea Ash is a good place to find handsome furniture that is not Victorian and not brown, and last Monday there was just such a desk in the auction catalogue. True, I also had an eye for one or two other lots that looked like they might go cheap, like the heavy cast iron Christmas tree stand and perhaps the green enamel angle-poise lamp – once you open an auction catalogue you enter a slippery slope. But the desk was top of my list. I certainly had no intention of buying a print by one of the acknowledged masters of twentieth century American photography.