For as long as we have had furniture, finials have been a part of them. Whether antique furniture or newly made, finials are an integral part of style and decoration. The term finial is technically defined as “a distinctive ornament at the apex of a roof, pinnacle, canopy, or similar structure in a building”, but finials are also used in architecture, furniture, and on curtain rods.
While many of the decorative finials found in antique furniture today are simple, we still see interesting and elaborate ones. Some of the more elaborate can be found in the broken arch pediments of antique clocks and on the top of bed posts. We have seen finials expertly turned and carved into all kinds of shapes. Everything from acorns
to produce and flora
and intricately carved animals.
Case good pieces and dining chairs usually have a more plain finial that is no less attractive than the more elaborate ones above.
While not necessarily structurally important, the finial is definitely a great tool for making our antique furniture more interesting and is a great outlet for craftsmen to showcase their carving skills.