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This is the second acquisition for Spink in two months, and includes Oeno China, the fine wine auctioneer also founded by Lee.

Since 2001 Phila China have held over 40 specialist auctions and are now Hong Kong's longest standing independent auction house focusing on Chinese philately.

Olivier Stocker, chairman and chief executive at Spink, said: "We've been looking for some time to find the right partner to open an office [in Hong Kong] and feel we have finally found the perfect fit with Anna Lee and Phila China."

Anna Lee is also vice president of the Hong Kong Philatelic Society, and will remain with Spink as vice chairman in Hong Kong.

By Chloe Tomlinson