At the thrift store, I see and pounce upon this inexpensive metal tray from England. "Look!" I say. "What a great tray! And it has FLOWERS!" Yes, it must be protected from scratches. But this is Just The Thing to place in the middle of the dining table, upon which to collect jars of condiments and what have you, to protect the tablecloth. This one is fairly good sized, too, and could be useful in conveying tea or coffee to one's guests in the parlor. If one had a parlor.
This item satisfies that wisdom from William Morris, "Have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
Useful? Check. Beautiful? Check.