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A Edmund Wheeler compound binocular microscope, estimated at £4000-6000 in Flints’ inaugural sale on September 21.

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Dealers Matthew Nunn and Keith Petts, who run specialist selling website fleaglass.com, and auctioneer Jonathan Brown have teamed up to launch Flints Auctioneers.

Flints plans to hold at least four fine sales a year, offering cameras from the earliest wet plate examples through to modern varieties as well as antique scientific and medical instruments.

It will also hold collectors’ sales with lower-valued lots.

‘State of flux’

Petts, who has been a dealer since 1992, said: “In the auction world, the whole collectors’ market is in flux, with the big names pulling out of these specialisms, and we witness a scrabble from provincial houses to grab a slice of the market.

“What we offer is years of expertise combined with careful thought about improving the service offered to both buyers and sellers.”

Brown worked at Special Auction Services (based just outside Newbury, Berkshire), for the past five years.

He added: “We know there is still a gap in the market for an auction house entirely dedicated to our specialist areas.”

The firm has hired the Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre on Green Lanes for a first sale on September 21 while using secure space outside London for storage.

Petts said: “Using this venue and working from home allows us to keep overheads low. By keeping costs down we can offer deals to sellers.”