The finial is an architectural device, typically carved in stone and employed to decoratively emphasize the apex of a gable, or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. Smaller finials can be used as a decorative ornament on the ends of curtain rods or applied to chairs and furniture. These are frequently seen on top of bed posts or clocks. Decorative finials are also commonly used to fasten lampshades, and as an ornamental element at the end of the handles of souvenir spoons. Finials can also be decorative members at the ends of curtain rods. An architectural finial can also function as a lightning rod, and was once believed to act as a deterrent to witches on broomsticks attempting to land on one’s roof.
L. Brent Vaughan Hill's Practical Reference Library Volume II (NewYork, NY: Dixon, Hanson and Company, 1906)