A finial is a decorative ornament used to emphasize the top of an architectural structure or a piece of furniture. Finials are often seen on the tops of bed posts and clocks, and on the ends of curtain rods. They're also used to fasten lamp shades to bases, and are an easy solution for perking up a plain-vanilla lamp. You see them topping Christmas trees during the holidays and flagpoles year round, and they even function as lightning rods on rooftops.
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