This article is about the item of furniture. For the Muppet Show characters, see Whatnot (Muppet). For the English word or phrase, see what not and whatnot at Wiktionary.
A what-not is a piece of furniture derived from the Frenchétagère, which was exceedingly popular in England in the first three-quarters of the 19th century. It usually consists of slender uprights or pillars, supporting a series of shelves for holding china, ornaments, trifles, or "what not", hence the allusive name. In its English form, although a convenient piece of drawing room furniture, it was rarely beautiful. The early mahogany examples are, however, sometimes graceful in their simplicity.