a new finial

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While antiquing at the seacoast we found this small piece of white coral for $1!  I knew it would make a great finial, but didn't have a specific lamp in mind. 
Lamp finials are like cherries on top of the proverbial cake... the final, finishing detail!  A lamp isn't complete without them, and they can make or break a beautiful lamp.  Scale, proportion, and composition are all elements to be considered.

When we arrived home I walked the small piece of coral around the house to see if it would work on any of our lamps, or if it was to go into the "one day" collection for future lamp finials!   When I walked into the reading room and saw this antique Chinese blue and white double happiness ginger jar that we made into a lamp years ago, I knew it had found its home!

The shape of the coral mimics the background in the ginger jar, something I had never noticed before!  I have used a lot of white coral in this room, so using the coral finial seemed like a good match.


A simple brass ball finial was being used prior to the coral find.  The right size and height brass ball finial can sometimes be the perfect solution, but some lamps can hold their own with a more ornate finial!  Since the lamp sits on a chest of drawers the brass finial was attached using an extender to raise the finial just enough to be seen from standing level.   

Dan used a table grinder to reshape the coral to fit inside the finial base.

I expected to use some glue, but it was such a snug fit none was needed.

When we make lamps we like to use as many old/antique elements as possible.  This ginger jar had a rather large opening at the top, so an antique brass ceiling medallion was used as the cap for the lamp- the swirl designs in the cap mimics the background design on the ginger jar.

With a project like this we always err on the conservative side, as you can always continue to take more off, but you can't add it back on!  The first several attempts at height were too tall.  I lived with this height for several days before realizing that every time I walked by and saw it it reminded me of a feather sticking out of a Derby hat!  Three more grindings, and....

we finally arrived at this-  the perfect height!

So, do all your lamps have the perfect finial?!!