Dolphins are mesmerizing to humans, as much for their perceived intelligence as for their otherworldly underwater lifestyle. In Greek mythology, Dolphins acted as messengers and guardians for the oceanic god Poseidon, who created the constellation Delphinus to thank his dolphin assistants for retrieving a favorite nymph. The god Dionysius was also said to have transformed a band of Etruscan pirates into helpful dolphins that would rescue endangered ships.

Unsurprisingly, Dolphins became symbols of protection and guidance for Greek and Roman sailors, and were thought to predict calm seas and fair weather. The animals were featured in murals, mosaics, and sculptures, like the central column of a fountain at Pompeii which depicts Cupid and a dolphin intertwined. The freshwater dolphins of the Ganges River in India were also bestowed with protective qualities through their association with Ganga Mata, a Hindu deity. Like the Greek goddess Aphrodite, Ganga is often shown being carried by a team of dolphins.

Because of their slender curving form, decorative dolphins have frequently been adapted for more prosaic duties, like holding candlesticks or lamps. Companies like Cambridge, Heisey, and Imperial Glass made many of these popular products, typically using a brightly-colored glass dolphin to support a light fixture on its upturned tail. Other dolphin figurines and decorative bowls were made by Fostoria, Tiffin, Westmoreland, Pilgrim, and New Martinsville Glass.

Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, dolphin-shaped decanters were popular gifts from liquor companies to their clients, many of which were produced by the Legras St. Denis glassworks in France. Danish jewelry designer Georg Jensen worked many dolphins into his natural motifs on brooches or pendants, while costume jewelry masters at Coro glazed the swimming mammals in rhinestones. Dolphins became a favorite feature of English sterling silver producers as well, carefully balancing all manner of trays, bowls, and salt cellars on their wide tails.

Finally, while research suggests that dolphins are, in fact, very intelligent and use high-pitched frequencies to communicate underwater, the stereotype of a clever, communicative dolphin has also been perpetuated by pop-culture icons like Flipper. From 1963 to 1967, Flipper delighted film and television audiences by busting criminals and rescuing children from harm, generating a short run of collectible merchandise like lunch boxes and View-Master sets.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Carousel Association

National Carousel Association

Since 1973, the National Carousel Association has been dedicated to preserving and restoring carousels and carousel… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Green Figural Dolphin Coy Fish Sandwich Glass Kerosene Oil Lamp BaseLot Of 10k & 14k Solid Gold Earrings Mickey Mouse Dolphin Cows Hearts DiamondHuge Herend Le Poisson Poissons 3 Shell Dish W/ Dolphin Koi 7449/po14k Yellow Gold Diamond Eye Mahi-mahi Dolphin Figural Pendant Ocean Fish FishingVintage Heisey Dolphin Footed Sahara Amber Ice Bucket No Reserve Must See!!Rotary Divers Appen Dolphin Standard Lock Down Crowm Near Mint Vintage Blue VgcAntique French Solid Silver Trident & Dolphin Top Meat Skewer From Paris C. 1837John Edwards White Ironstone China Teapot Creamer Sugar Bowl Dolphin Handles10k Yellow Gold Dolphin Animal Ring With Oval Blue Topaz Solitaire, Size 7Kirks Folly Dolphin Delight Magnetic Enhancer Crystal Dangles With NecklaceSterling Silver - Breakell Dolphin Cuff 10.9g - Bracelet (6.5") Vn048114k Gold 34.6 Grams Scrap Sell Wear Anchor Dolphin Ring Conch Shell PendantsHerend Porcelain Figure Large Dolphin Porpoise Blue Fishnet 24k Gold 5 3/4" Sterling Silver - Trollbeads Swimming Dolphins 3.9g - Charm Pendant Vp1581Signed Daum France Crystal Art Glass 21.5" Long Dolphin On Chrome Stand SuperSeiko Divers Watch 6309-7290 Dx White Dolphin Mod. # 5027*large* Vintage Taxco Artist Signed Sterling Silver *dolphin* Pierced EarringsCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416002Fantastic Large Wyland 3 Dolphin Acrylic Art9ct Gold Charm Bracelet With 5 Charms Inc Dolphin, Free Jewel CaseOld Venetian Glass White Swirl & Gold Aventurine Dolphin Fish Stem GlassCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416014Carved Dolphin Bead Ax416005Hattie Carnegie Angel On A Dolphin Brooch--3"--vntg From An Estate..(350Hms Dolphin (rn Submarine Base) - Superb Cast Alloy Hand Painted Crest / Plaque10k Yellow Gold Dolphin Animal 7" Bracelet With 7 Oval Blue Topaz StonesCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416013Vintage Fenton Art Glass - Jade - Fish / Dolphin Small Bowl Candy DishLot 14 Vintage Pins Brooches Dolphins Mouse Eagles Enamel Some SignedA+ Rare Vintage German Kaiser Porcelain Figurine - 4 Dolphin Figural GroupRare Attributed Orig Post Ww2 Rcn Bullion Wire Officers Submarine Sleve DolphinWyland 14k White Gold And Pearl "swiming Dolphins" Pendant.Twenty Vintage Military Insignia Submarine Dolphins, General, Lt. Col. & MoreHerend Porcelain Figure Small Dolphin Porpoise Blue Fishnet 24k Gold 4 1/2" Peacock Blue Vintage Depression Glass Dolphin CandlestickSterling Silver - Dolphin Conch Sea Shell Star Fish 10.3g - Ring (6.75) Vq2451Carved Dolphin Bead Ax41602214kt Yellow White Gold .35ctw Pave Diamond Topaz Dolphin Pendant Enhancer Charm James Avery Dolphin In Hoop Charm Retired Rare Carved Dolphin Bead Ax416029Vintage Repousse Sterling Silver Hat Pin Double Sided Fish Dolphin 9"Authentic Alex And Ani Dolphin Russian Silver Charm BangleAir Tran Dolphin One Poster New Georgia Aquarium Southwest AirlinesCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416020Carved Dolphin Bead Ax416019Hello Kitty Loves Dolphin Swarovski Element Crystal Japan Aquarium Pendant CharmSterling Silver - Taxco Mexico Happy Dolphin 15.9g - Brooch Vk0171Dolphin Windproof Torch Jet Butane Gas Cigarette Lighter Refillable W/lock FireVery Scarce 1920s Fenton Dolphin Handled Bowl, Ruby Red Glass, Price Reduced!Green Glass Dolphin Fish Lamp Base Whale Oil Carved Dolphin Bead Ax416024Big Rare White Cz-dolphin Ceramic Sterling 925 Silver Enamel Ring Sz 6# HandmadeCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416028A Fine Vintage 14 Karat Yellow Gold Leaping Dolphins Charm 1.3 GramsLot Of Costume Jewelry Pins Brooches Moon Rhinestone Flower Owl DolphinNative American Vintage Sterling Silver Signed C Dolphin Pin Brooch Turquoise NrCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416004Hand Carved Mermaid Dolphin 3" Natural Buffalo Bone 925 Sterling Silver PendantCarved Dolphin Bead Ax416009Sterling Silver - Dolphin Wrap Around Flex 6.8g - Bracelet (6") Vn0081