JAMES BRAXTON As seen on BBC's Bargain Hunt and Flog It

Sunday, April 06, 2003
Sunk by Suet
The highlight of a week of auctions was a sale of early Exeter silver. By early, I mean, Queen Anne (1702-1714), and I had a pair of candlesticks dated 1706. They were the principal lot from a collection of 90 lots of early Exeter assayed silver. The collection was formed by a remarkable man who has a great eye for the aesthetic and historically important. Having sought and found goods both far and wide, that were of relevance to his roots on Dartmoor, Devon. He, and his wife, are true collectors, having a magic combination of knowledge, tenacity and luck. The candlesticks made £8,500, going to an Exeter collector, whilst a strawberry dish made £5,200 selling to Exeter museum. The collection made just short of £40,000, and was cause for celebration.

Where better to celebrate than the Duke of York in Iddesleigh, near Hatherleigh, Devon. Run by the fun and effortlessly competent Ben and Trevor, the former of the 2 makes a mean Bloody Mary and the later has a tie-up with Broadsword bitter. I started with smoked duck, delicious, and finished with their signature steak pie under a suet hat, definitely where Angels fear to tread

I awoke to the grime reality of loosing some of the 6lbs that I've lost since Christmas.