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It was not so much the news that after more than 30 years Mr Garner had left Sotheby’s that surprised observers but that he had not gone straight into a career as a dealer and consultant in a field where he is a seminal force.

Philippe Garner took charge of Sotheby’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco department in 1971 and that same year he initiated the first ever specialist auction of photographs.

Over the decades he has been instrumental in making the medium of photography an international fine arts market with an ever higher profile.

Known to have a strong commitment to photography in particular, Phillips’ hiring of Phillipe Garner, who is a widely published author in his fields, puts them immediately into a strong position in two strong areas of the current international marketplace.
Mr Garner will continue to be based in London.