Cupolas

Written by Patty Yu
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Weathervanes, cupolas, and finials are all ways you can decorate the home and garden. These fixtures all provide aesthetic appeal and decor in many styles and shapes, but they are also extremely functional in use. Throughout history, we see these ornaments adorning homes, churches, castles, and various other architectural structures.

A Brief Introduction to Weathervanes, Cupolas, and Finials

As long as a weathervane ornament is unequal in area on either side of the center, but equal in mass on either side of the center, the ornament will spin toward whatever direction wind blows. The decorative piece rotates because of a ball bearing atop a fixed rod. Many collectors invest in antique weathervanes, which prove to be quite valuable due to high demand.

Another interesting decor is a small dome surmounting a roof with its own small roof or ceiling. These little structures are called cupolas and we know them best atop American barns and stables. Many architectural structures also adorn cupolas, and they are usually made of wood. Although decorative, cupolas are often designed to allow extra light into a space and release hot air as well.

Often secured to the tops of cupolas both for function and decor, finials are ornaments that cap the apex of other structures. Finials create a visually appealing point, with other design features, but it also serve to provide weatherproofing for the structure below. Finials were used in many architectural periods, such as Medieval, Victorian, and Tudor periods.


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