Died for want of lobster sauce. Died of mortification at some trifling disappointment. Died from pique, or wounded vanity. At the grand feast given by the great Condé to Louis XIV., at Chantilly, Vatel was told that the lobsters for the turbot sauce had not arrived, whereupon this chef of the kitchen retired to his private room, and, leaning on his sword, ran it through his body, unable to survive such a dire disgrace as serving up turbot without lobster sauce.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894