Epicurean etiquette demands that these – and all cutlery, for that matter – should be placed on rests between courses, rather than laid on the tablecloth. These chrome lobster rests were the height of Art Deco fashion and were probably part of a set of 12, originating on the Continent.
Unlike the English, the French have always been in the habit of retaining plates and cutlery between courses. We should follow suit – at the very least it would save on the washing up.
Set of four Art Deco chrome cutlery rests, £150, Smart Deco, 02920 531374; silver-plated lobster pick, similar from £15.