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The purchase was for an undisclosed fee, but Spink say that the new enlarged entity creates the world’s largest auctioneer of rare stamps, with the business valued at over $100m.

Shreves have offices in New York and Dallas and the acquisition will provide Spink with a platform to grow its presence in the USA.

In a statement, Spink said was only a matter of time before these two firms joined forces. Spink chairman and CEO Olivier Stocker said: “I am extremely excited to embark on such an adventure with Charles and Tracy Shreve. It has become evident from discussions with our major collectors that in today’s world one has to be global to answer the needs of customers.”

Spink sold a collection of rare American currency in New York in July and Shreves sold a portion of the William H. Gross collection of British stamps in June. Making over $9m, it was the largest grossing single stamp auction ever held in the United States.

Tracy and Charles Shreve will continue to run the US business while incorporating new collectables into their portfolio.