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Founded 30 years ago by Guido Craveri, the company's chairman, Investphila specialise in South and Central America as well as Russia.

The deal comes a few months after Spink set a new auction record for a stamp, with the £900,000 hammer paid for the 2d. blue Post Office Mauritius on June 28.

The Spink Investphila maiden sale is scheduled to take place at the company's Lugano headquarters early next year.