Robert P. Emlen


In the first decade of the 19th century, Newport printer Henry Barber, Jr. (ca. 1780-1856) designed and engraved furniture labels for several local cabinetmakers. Each label was illustrated with a cut of a tiny serpentine-front sideboard standing in awkward perspective and perched precariously upon a slanting floor. Henry Barber lived among the last of the great Newport cabinetmakers. During his life, he saw the craft decline, as the industry moved away from Newport and into the Industrial Revolution urban centers.