Finals are the toppers to wrought iron fence pickets. Their main purpose is to deter people from climbing over your fence, though they also protect the picket itself. However, they come in so many styles that the finials themselves become a focal point in the overall ornamentation of a wrought iron fence. Below are some common finial styles and how to match them to your fence and house.
As the name suggests, spear finials look like the sharp ends of spears. Naturally, this style is ideal as an intruder deterrent. At its most basic, the spear finial simply consists of a sharp end of the picket. This style works well with modern fences and homes because it's so minimalist. You also see pressed spears, which is a pinched pointy end. This style is pretty minimalist, too.
Quad spears consist of four sides that end in a point. This style looks a little like a pyramid, though with four sides. This style of finial is still fairly minimalist, though it might be too ornamental for a strictly modern fence. You might see this style on a transitional fence, meaning one that has both historical and contemporary influences.
Sometimes manufacturers top the point with a ball. This spear finial isn't as sharp as the standard, which might cut back on potential injury. However, the ball also adds a decorative element. You might choose this style if you have an otherwise basic fence and want to add a little ornamentation. Conversely, such a finial can also be a subtle topper for an elaborate decorative fence.
Manufacturers also create spear finials with two smaller spears curling away from the base. These trident spears are very useful as deterrents. What's more, the curling points can sometimes be quite elaborate. This style of finial is ideal for highly decorative situations, such as for a historical home or as a topper for an elaborate fence. Trident finials can also be topped with a ball.
Fleur-de-lis is essentially a stylized lily. Indeed, fleur-de-lis is French for lily flower. It has long stood as a symbol of French royalty.
In profile, as you'd see it in a finial, the fleur-de-lis looks similar to the trident finial in that it consists of what looks like a spear with two smaller spears peeling away. However, the lower bars often curl more than you'd see with the trident, and they may even consist of secondary curls curving back up. What's more, the central "spear" is usually more graceful to represent a flower.
The fleur-de-lis finial is one of the most elaborate of styles. You'll want this finial for a highly ornamented fence. You might even consider gilded finials to further draw attention to the fence. Likewise, the fleur-de-lis is the most appropriate style for historical houses.
You can find finials that are even more decorative than the fleur-de-lis. For instance, you may see horse head, pineapple, acorn, and pine cone finials. All of these styles resemble what they're named for.
You can approach using these elaborate finials on your fence in different ways. One way is the more-ismore approach. In that case, you top highly decorative panels with one of the above finials for even more ornamentation.
Another approach is to decorate simpler fences with such decorative styles. So, if you have straight pickets and simple rails, you might add wow factor with horsehead or pineapple finials. Such toppers will become the center of attention.
Finally, you might save these decorative finials for the posts. For example, you can match the pointy spears on the rest of your fence with acorn finials, which also end in a point, on the posts. This approach presents cohesion between all the working components of your wrought iron fence.
Choose a finial style that complements both your house and the rest of your fence. Central California Ornamental Iron has numerous finial styles to choose between for your wrought iron fence.