11 June 2015

Auckland architecture: decorated gable ends

Some of the loveliest decorative elements on Auckland’s historic colonial villas appear on the gable ends above the windows.

Like the other embellishments on these villas – the lacy fretwork panels and brackets, the carved balustrades and finials (illustrated in my recent blog, Auckland architecture: the classic Kiwi villa) – the gable ends are adorned in a variety of ways and styles. Some are relatively plain and simple, others are extremely ornate.

The adornments range from fretwork panels under the gable ridges and overlapping shingle infill, to decorated stucco panels and curved timbering. In almost all cases the peaks of the gable ends are finished off with turned finials which, according to ancient wisdom, serve to ward off witches!

Here are some of the beautiful examples I’ve photographed during my walks around the inner-city suburbs of Auckland.

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