Antique Wood and Coal Stoves, including Cylinder, Parlor, Four O'Clock and other Stoves often had a False Top, or Finial. I refer to it as a False Top as it had little Function except as a Decoration. It more often than not would cover a Cook Plate, or Eye Plate, that could be used (or removed) for Boiling Water, Tea, Coffee, Soup etc. The exception to function can be found in Finials that were themselves filled with water to humidify the air while the stove was in operation. These Finials are often still with the Antique Stove, as they were not removed when using. However, the Decorative styles were mostly put aside during stove operation, as they were just simply in the way. Some stove owners would put them back during the Off Season of heating, to decorate the stove. Largely though, they were lost in the Barn or elsewhere over the past hundred + years.
Today, the Finial Top can be as Valuable as the Stove Itself, depending of course on the Rarity and Desirability of the Stove. There are many Finial Collectors, as they can be Displayed without the space required for the entire stove itself. Some folks enjoy them as Yard and Garden Art.
When Purchasing your Antique Stove, always try and buy one with the Correct and Original Finial, as obtaining one after the fact can prove difficult if not impossible, certainly Costly and Time-Consuming, if nothing else. I've included a Photo of some Un-Restored Finials from my Stove Shop, for your enjoyment. A YES Vote will be Appreciated! Enjoy Ebay!