Finials have been in use for thousands of years and are believed to have originated in China. You will often find finials in reclamation yards due to their popularity, particularly in Victorian times where finials were widely used from the 1870s onwards.
A Finial is essentially a decorative item that you will often find on the roof of buildings, particularly gable ends. They can come in all kinds of different designs with dragon finials proving particularly popular to this day.
The popularity of roof finials peaked in the Victorian era where there was a great fascination with all things gothic. Finials shaped into dragons, gargoyles and other grotesque figures could often be found on Victorian properties. The motivations for their use either to ward off unwelcome spirits or as a purely ornamental addition.
Much of the inspiration for the use of finials along with other elements of what would become known as ‘gothic architecture’ was influenced by Chinese architecture.
While demand for the grotesque style of finial is largely confined to those projects that require a faithful restoration of old Victorian properties, Dragon finials are seen as a great way to add character to the roofs of a properties to this day.