In an era obsessed with architectural detail and ornamentation, iron roof cresting was the topper. Standing sentinel on a mansard roof or enclosing a widow’s walk, curlicues and pointed finials made a Victorian silhouette against the sky. Above the bargeboards of a Downing cottage, cresting is lighthearted whimsy; high on the tower of a Second Empire house, it is more solemn. Roof cresting was used in the early 19th century, as well, and survived into the 20th.
Capital Crestings continues to offer 23 designs with English medieval, Spanish, French, Old South, and even Art Deco antecedents. Style-evoking names include Regency, Empire, Balmoral, Bolero, Savannah, Trafalgar, and Tudor Rose. Cresting panels, corner-post finials, and matching snow-guards and balconettes (windowbox holders) are offered. Custom work accepted. Capital Crestings, (800) 442-4766, architecturaliron.com