What Do Your Signpost Finials Mean?
Decorative finials sit atop posts, lamps and buildings. They make street signs more attractive, keep lampshades in place and prevent flags from becoming tangled as they’re raised and lowered.
But finials also carry symbolic meaning.
Their widespread use can be traced to 711 A.D., when Asian cultures began using finials to adorn pagodas and staircases. The Japanese were the first to use metal finials, choosing symbolic shapes that included a sphere to symbolize heaven and earth.
Finials are prominent in Renaissance and especially Gothic architecture, and the Victorians popularized finial designs such as the spike, ball and fleur-de-lis.
Acorn finials have a rich symbolic history. Acorns have long been associated with deities, and oak trees are considered sacred by some religions. English soldiers carried acorns for good luck during the Norman Conquest. Today, acorns are associated with luck, prosperity, youth and power – making an acorn finial an especially fortuitous choice.
Pointed finials were used in Chinese porcelain pieces to ward off evil spirits. When the Asian-inspired Chinoiserie style became popular in the 18th century, pointed finials found their way into European gardens. Their understated style remains popular today.
In Texas, the five-pointed star is a symbol of the Lone Star State. The star commemorates Texas’ past as an independent republic, as well as its fight for independence from Mexico. A circle-star finial shows Texas pride, and we think it’s an eye-catching accent even if you’re not from around here.
Our ball, acorn, pointed and star finials give street and wayfinding signs a distinctive look and protect the interiors of our sign posts.
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