In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex of a dome, spire, tower, roof, or gable or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. A finial is typically carved in stone. Where there are several such elements they may be called pinnacles. The very top of a finial can be a floral or foliated element called a bouquet.
Smaller finials in materials such as metal or wood are used as a decorative ornament on the tops or ends of poles or rods such as tent-poles or curtain rods or any object such as a piece of 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. The charm at the end of a pull chain (such as for a ceiling fan or a lamp) is also known as a finial.