The following description was prepared by William Gross:
The finials evolved from knobs at the upper end of the staves (Atzei Chaim) on which the Torah scroll is wound. Since the shape of the spherical finial recalled that of a fruit, it was called a tappu'aḥ, "apple," among the Jews of Spain and in the Sephardi Diaspora, and a rimmon, "pomegranate," in all other communities.
The earliest known reference to Torah finials occurs in a document from 1159, found in the Cairo Genizah, from which we learn that by the 12th-century finials were already being made of silver and had bells. Around the same time, Maimonides mentions finials in the Mishneh Torah (Hilkhot Sefer Torah 10:4). Despite the variations on the spherical shape which developed over the centuries and the addition of small bells around the main body of the finial, the spherical, fruit-like form was the basic model for the design of finials in Oriental and European communities.
A most significant variation appeared in 15th-century Spain, Italy, and Germany, where the shape of finials was influenced by that of various objects of church ritual, whose design often incorporated architectural motifs, The resulting tower-like structure, which seems to have appeared around the same time in different parts of Europe, became the main type of finial in 18th-century Germany and Italy, as well as Morocco, brought there by Jews expelled from Spain.
This pair of Rimmonim was originally made for the synagogue in Tzidon, Lebanon, according to the original inscription. There is a later inscription relating to their subsequent use in the Istanbuli synagogue in the Jewish quarter of the Old city in Jerusalem. This pair carries an unusual shape and finial on top in the style of other Rimmonim from the Ottoman Empire. The Harari and Zadqa families, mentioned in the inscriptions, are both known in Aleppo, and the Harrari's were also known in Lebanon.
Around lower top on both A and B: Dedicated unto the Lord. For the Holy Congregation Istanbulis of the Holy City Jerusalem, May it be built and established quickly in our days. Around the middle band, from A to B: For the Lord. Dedicated to the Holy Community of Sidon, May establish it, Amen. For the sould of the honorable woman, and May she be blessed among women, Yael, May she rest in paradise, daughter of - in the distinction - the erudite, tortured soul (?), Shimon Zadka, May the Mericiful protect him and bless him, wife of the elder Joseph Harari, May his light (May the Merciful protect and bless him) shine, amen.
On the tops, A and B: God The Lord (Tetragrammaton) The Lord Almighty On the bottom, A and B, upside down: (Tetragrammaton) (Tetragrammaton) (Tetragrammaton) (Tetragrammaton)