I had always heard these called “Crumb Catchers” and was planning on doing an intro joke about how they are a mom’s best friend. Then, once I researched it a little further, I realized they were called “The Silent Butler.” Turns out they ARE the Mom.
Back in the day, it was important to keep your table’s appearance presentable through out the entire meal. So, in between courses, you would sweep the crumbs from the table with or into one of these.
If you go to a fancy smancy restaurant, you will see they still use these.
These come in different shapes and styles.
You may see one like this that has a lid:
Or you may see one like this that has a brush that comes with it:
You may even see one with the brush in it:
They can be in an assortment of materials from Porcelain to Silver (Silverplate) or Copper:
This actually makes me wonder how many people are now eating in courses? Do you? Would you find something like this helpful at your Thanksgiving table?