Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Finial, an ornament in Gothic architecture, placed on some lofty or conspicuous part of a building, such as the apex of a gable or summit of a pinnacle. It generally has the form of a knob, which is carved in imitation of foliage. It was introduced in the 12th century, and was much used in the Decorated style; the finials of that period exhibit great variety and skill in their workmanship. It survived the decay of Gothic architecture, but entirely lost its beauty of form; in Elizabethan buildings it was usually made on a geometrical pattern, while at a later period the place of the finial was taken by a ball or obelisk.

Pinistere, a French department at the west extremity of France, bounded on all sides, except in the E., by the sea, and having an area of 2,595 square miles. Tall granite cliffs deeply indented by the waves form the coast, and on the west are the roadstead of Brest and the Bay of Douarnenez. Two chains of hills, those of Arre in the N. and the Montagnes Noires farther south, both sending out many spurs, render the department very hilly. The navigable rivers are the Aulne, Elorn, and Odet, and there are many smaller streams, and a canal between Brest and Nantes. About a half of the surface is cultivated, and produces good wheat, rye, and oats, with potatoes and flax, and a good deal of cider is made. There are good sardine and other fisheries on the coast. Among the minerals are iron, zinc, and bismuth, and the lead mines of the department are the richest in France. There is a good deal of ship-building, and there are manufactures of sailcloth, linen, paper, tobacco, and leather.