Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
................................... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

FIN ee l


An ornament, usually foliated, on top of a peak of an arch or arched structure, e.g., a spiresteeple, pinnacle or a gable

Origin:  Variant of final

Bouquet: The floral or foliated ornament forming the extreme top of a finial, knob, etc

A finial that points downwards is called a pendant finial

Architectural finials commonly found in Gothic, Gothic Revival, Italianate styles, but found throughout world architecture

Victorian finials included designs such as spike, ball or fleur-de-lis

Gothic finials typically  included ornamental figures such as gargoyles, dragons, and other mythical creatures.


Turned or carved ornamental terminating part

Examples: screw on the tip of a lampshade, simple egg shape, flaming urn atop a stile

Historical note: "Many Roman chairs were fashioned out of wood. The design of the crest rail and uprights often had finials, sometimes carved into the shapes of figures or animals." - Treena Crochet, Designer's Guide to Furniture Styles," pub. 2204, p. 66

Drop (drop finial): A finial that points downwards. Drop finials were an intermediate development in eliminating a leg(s) in a piece of furniture.

A flaming finial is a combination urn and spiraling flame (also described a an acroterion)

Steeple finial

American Federal finials include eagle, draped urn, urn and flame

Examples from Buffalo:

Other examples:

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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