Tongs #2001-0047Members’ Dining Room, Main Floor
Electroplated Nickel Silver (EPNS) asparagus tongs engraved with ‘CPRR’ (Commonwealth Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms). Two barrels hinged at end with single finger ring on front and double on back; the ends are shaped like the head of an asparagus.
These tongs were used in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms in the Provisional Parliament House. They were manufactured by Stokes & Sons and are made of Electroplated Nickel Silver.
Crisp white tablecloths and sparkling silverware welcomed members and senators to their party’s particular tables in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. Unlike in most Australian homes, waiters, and later waitresses, provided silver service. They served the politicians’ food from elegant silver platters directly onto their plates at the table.
Many impressive state occasions were held in the Members’ Dining Room. On these occasions, formal decorations reflected the nature of the event, and silver service and souvenir menus were the order of the day.