A what-not is a piece of furniture derived from the French étagère, 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, it is a convenient piece of drawing room furniture, and was rarely valued for its aesthetic.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "What-Not". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 576.
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