Antique Mahogany Etagere with curved glass Curio Cabinet

Product #CSS01

Mahogany open Etagere with curved glass Curio Cabinet with a glass shelf and mirror back. Beveled mirrors behind each shelf make for great display spaces for those special items. Measures 33″ width, 14 ” depth and 63″ height. Circa 1900.

We are selling this “What Not Cabinet” on consignment and here is additional history of where this cabinet has been.

Family history — something here may make the piece more interesting to long-time Nebraskans.

The “whatnot” originally belonged to John and Mary Diers in Fullerton, Nebraska.  John was one of the “Diers Mercantile” brothers who established dry goods stores all across Nebraska in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  John and Mary had two daughters:  Gertrude, who married Fred Fuller (son of one of the Fullerton founders) in 1903; and Effie, who married Frank Gorsline Arnold in 1906.  The whatnot was one of the Diers’ family items that went with Effie to her new home a few blocks away in Fullerton.

Frank G. Arnold was a prominent real estate man for well over half a century and even ran for governor during the 1930s.  He and Dale Black owned the Arnold-Black Real Estate Agency in Fullerton in the 50s and 60s.  Frank and Effie had no children.  Gertrude and Fred adopted two daughters in the 1920s–Madelynne, who married Dale Black and remained in Fullerton; and Patricia, who married and moved away in the 40s.

Effie passed away in 1951 and her will specified that the “Diers’ family heirlooms” be returned to her sister Gertrude or to her family.  Frank opted to keep them for his lifetime.  He married twice more, first to Fayetta Fern Delancey, who passed away in 1953, and then to Gladys [last name not known] around 1955.  Gertrude Diers Fuller passed away in 1953.

Gladys Arnold was concerned that these ‘Diers’ family heirlooms’ might get lost in the shuffle and so she labeled them (Please note that for the most part, these ‘heirlooms’ were more sentimental than valuable — wedding china, family pictures, handcrafts made by Effie and Gertrude, and Mary and John Diers’ wedding rings).  Gladys’ label is still on the back of the whatnot.  Frank Arnold passed away in 1972 and, rather than keep these heirlooms for her lifetime, Gladys gave them back to Madelynne and Pat.  Madelynne still lived in the house that was built for her grandparents (John and Mary Diers), so the whatnot came back to its original home.

The present owner of the whatnot–Madelynne and Dale’s daughter–remembers being babysat by both ‘Aunt’ Fern and ‘Aunt’ Gladys and being told by both, “do not touch the knickknacks in the whatnot.”  It was very tempting, but she never broke anything.

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