WikiLeaks, and unexpected Newel Post

Wasn't expecting to post anything from the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013), but inspiration can be found in mysterious places.  Notice, over this warmonger's shoulder, the outlandishly ornate newel post (I lightened up the image so you can get a better look).  

A newel post is the piece at the end of a staircase.  They don't have to be fancy but this one is over the top.  It looks like it is brass and would have felt more at home on an early steam engine.