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These frilly gutter ornaments (acroterion in the singular and acroteria in the plural or, having regard to their Greek etymology, akroterion and akroteria respectively), traditional in Victorian and Edwardian times, are at once fetching, whimsical, redolent of classical allusions and altogether exotic, imparting decoration, character, dignity and a finished look to roofs and gutters – new or undergoing restoration. They adorned gutters on many 19th century public buildings, banks, hotels, railway stations and grand mansions down to shanties, rotundas, garden pavilions and the like. In some parts acroteria were so plentiful that a building without them must have seemed like a face with its eyebrows shaved off or a crown with its jewels missing.

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