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    

Miracle G-shock Gw-206k-7dr Frogman 2006 All As One Tough Solar Dolphin&whaleKirks Folly Mermaid Treasures Windchime Whale Dolphin Seal SilvertoneDolphin And Mermaid 7 Kilos Genuine Bronze Signed Statue Figure See My Items $750 6.55mm -7.02mm Natural Pearl Dolphin Ring 14k Yellow Gold & Sterling Silver10k Gold Diamond Dolphin Pendant & Chain No Reserve AuctionJames Avery Dolphins Charm In Sterling Silver James Avery Dolphin Hoop Charm In Sterling Silver Antique Belleek Porcelain Shell Comport On Dolphins Base....ref.7466Vintage Dolphin Sterling Silver Bracelet & (2) Ring Lot (1) W/ Turquoise - K0912Swarovski Crystal Scs 1990 Dolphins Mother And Child..."lead Me" First In SeriesBing Grondahl B & G #451 Denmark Seagull Footed Pedestal Dolphin 1950 Mint PairCarved Dolphin Bead Au512034Carved Dolphin Bead Au512002Wwii Us Navy Submarine Officers Dolphin Sub Badge1800’s Sandwich Glass Dolphin Etched Font Oil Lamp PinkVintage Signed Steuben Crystal Art Glass 6 In Jumping Dolphin Porpoise StatueSwarovski Crystal Scs Dolphins Figurine Lead Me 1990 Annual Edition No Box10k Boxed Yellow & Rose Gold Jumping Dolphins Pierced Earrings Black HillsCarved Dolphin Bead Au512018Vintage Mythical C1940s Murano Red Glass Dolphin Lamp "barovier"Carved Dolphin Bead Au512006Carved Dolphin Bead Au512000Hand Carved~turquoise~abalone~sterling Silver~dolphin~pendant~by Francisco GomezPr. 14k Yellow Gold Ladies Dolphin Design Earrings 1.3 Grams Beautiful Dolphin Jewelry Sterling Silver .925 Necklace Bracelet Earrings Lot!Carved Dolphin Bead Au512029Carved Dolphin Bead Au512026Carved Dolphin Bead Au512033Antique Pierced Brass & Steel Button Dolphin & Trident W/ Cut Steel AccentsSwarovski Maxi Dolphin 1998 - 2004 Mint / Boxed / Coa 221 628Antique Figural Metal Boy Riding Dolphin Match Book Safe Dispenser Holder1900sIstros, Thrace, Ar Quarter Drachm. 400-350 Bc Facing Male Heads, Eagle / DolphinCarved Dolphin Bead Au512016Vintage 10k Yellow Gold Dolphin Band Ring 1.3g Size 7 No ReserveSterling Silver - Dolphins Under The Sea 4.2g - Ring (5.5) Tj9051Sterling Silver - Double Dolphin Cuff 19.7g - Bracelet (6") Ti2361Hot! New Fashion Beautiful Betsey Johnson Ms. Asymmetric Dolphins Earrings B153Dolphins Wwii Doctor Reverse Marked "bb&b, Sterling Doc. Uss Harder 1944" FotosSeiko Divers Watch 6309-729a Dx Orange Dolphin #4868Alex And Ani Dolphin Expandable Wire Bangle Bracelet Rafaelian Gold Finish NewLot Of Sterling Silver Jewelry Ring Necklace Bracelet Earrings Cat DolphinVintage Emerald Green Dolphin Fish Glass Shawnee Pottery Old Ivory Dolphin Flower Frog1964-65 New York World's Fair Florida Dolphin Pins (2) Blue OrangeSterling Silver - Swimming Dolphin Wrap 1.3g - Ring (6) Tj9031Carved Dolphin Bead Au512020Sterling Silver Mother-of-pearl Dolphin Ring - Size 7Fenton Aquamarine DolphinVintage Retro 14k Yellow Gold Kissing Dolphins Hoop EarringsSwarovski Crystal Dolphin Retired 2011 Mib #190365Lee Sands Shell Inlaid Dolphins Necklace & Earring Set Made In HawaiiJohn Perry Dolphin Pack Sculpture On Burl Wood BaseShawnee Pottery Blue Dolphin Flower FrogOld Antique Unique Carved Stone ? Jade ? Dolphin Porpoise With Wood Stand Carved Dolphin Bead Au512023Carved Dolphin Bead Au512015Sajen Sterling Silver Abalone Dolphin PendantVintage Kabana Kbn 925 Silver Laser Diamond Cut Textured Dolphin Cuff BangleFenton Jade Glass Bowl 3 Dolphin Handles BeautifulCarved Dolphin Bead Au512012