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    

Vintage Vantage By Hamilton Skin Diver Watch 1972 Dolphin Sport Divers ServicedVenetian Salviati 'dolphin Stem' 6 X Cordial Murano Art Glass Seiko Automatic Light Blue 'dolphin' Submariner Scuba Diver's Date Watch 7002Original Alice V Hansen Marine Watercolor Painting Dolphins Florida Artist14k Solid Yellow Gold Dolphin Bracelet 7", 5gWedgwood Jasperware Unique/rare Teal Dolphins Mini-candlesticks Vintage! Lisa Frank Collectors Tin No Puzzle Ballerina Bunnies Unicorns Dolphins1868 Antique Royal Worcester Majolica Stylised Dolphin/shell Motif CandlestickWhite Pearl Beach Seaside Dolphin Starfish Lobster 925 Sterling Charm BraceletSterling Silver 8 Charm 7 Inch Locket Dolphin Heart 1.52 Ounce Charm BraceletFenton Willow Green Opalescent Dolphin Handled Comport Hp Ooak Pansy Floral James Avery Sterling Silver Dolphin CharmBeautiful~hand Carved~turquoise~sterling~dolphin~pendant~by Francisco GomezBaccarat Crystal Lubin L'ocean Bleu Perfume Bottle Flacon Mib Dolphins Exc!!!Swarovski Crystal Dolphin FigurineVintage Koi Dolphin Compote Candy DishDolphin And Mermaid 7 Kilos Genuine Bronze Signed Statue Figure See My Items Shipwreck Coin Dolphin Pendant 14kFenton Periwinkle Blue Dolphin Handled Comport Hp Ooak Daisies FloralAlex And Ani For Nordstrom Gold Tone Metal Dolphin Bracelet With Charms Ladies 14k Yellow Gold Dolphin Heart PendantBaccarat Crystal DolphinWhite Italian Cameo Onyx Dolphin 925 Solid Sterling Silver Pendant 2" Long Mini Dolphin Flint Lighter Refillable Normal Butane Gas Cigarette Cigar LighterAtocha Sunken Shipwreck Treasure Med Silver Coin Pendant 14k Gold W/ Dolphins 1"10k Tri-tone Gold Jacmel Mauritius Jcm Dolphin Ring, 3.3g, Not ScrapIrish Belleek Dolphin Spill Vase, 3rd Black Mark C. 1926- Unique!Authentic Pandora Sterling Silver Dangle Playful Dolphin Clear Cz Bead 791541czFenton Cobalt Stretch Glass Dolphin Handled Comport Hp Ooak Underwater SceneBlue Whale Blown-glass Iridescent Christmas Ornament Fish Dolphin ~ Sale!! ~Arabia Moomin Mug Dolphin Dive / Delfiinisukellus 0.99$ Starting Price !!!2 Metal Dolphin Statue Green Marble StandFentonamethyst Carnival Stretch Glass Dolphin Handled Comport Hp Ooak FloralGenuine Multi Color Sapphire & Emerald Sterling 925 Silver Dolphin Ring 8Vtg Set Of Petal Sockets Figural Dolphins Supports Depression Glass CandlesticksRare Large 10" Vintage Steuben Art Glass Figurine Dolphin Lloyd Atkins Signed Vintage Dolphin 14k Gold Estate Carat Diamond Ring Size 4.5 Nr Wow 3.6 GramsCorelle Ocean Dance 24-piece Set For Six Frolicking Dolphins Blue Waves!Miniature Toy Boston & Sandwich Dolphin Glass Candlesticks By Kirk NelsonSigned Baccarat Blue Dolphin Paper Weight No ReserveAustralian Opal Inlay & Topaz 925 Solid Sterling Silver Dolphin Bangle BraceletPost-wwii 2 ¾ Inch Full Size Cb Usn Enlisted Man Submarine Dolphins W/ Two StarsVintage Ken Kantro Solid Pewter Mid Century Modernist Dolphin Whale Brooch PinVintage 14k Solid Gold Textured Dolphin Wrap Ring W/ Emerald Eyes Size 6 2 GramFenton Glass Dolphin & Fish Cobalt Blue Hand Painted Signed Stickers. Gorgeous.Jadeite Green Glass Onyx Houzex Brass Lamp Bass Dolphins OriginalSheaffer "dolphin" Touchdown Fountain Pen, Circa 1960s, Black.Alex And Ani Russian Gold Dolphin BangleVintage Amethyst Dolphin Faceted Sterling Silver 925 J Hook Earrings (5.3g)Gt Flighter Sheaffer Cartridge Fountain Pen Inlaid Inlaid Dolphin M Nib3 Bud Light 12oz Nfl 2015 Kickoff Cans-- Redskins & Dolphins & Patriots2 1/4" Carved Dolphins Natural Buffalo Bone 100% Solid 925 Silver EarringsCarved Dolphin Pendant Bead Bh411026Vtg Dancing Dolphins Sticker Sheet By Lisa FrankDolphin ! Blue Fire Opal & Zircon Women Jewelry Gemstone Silver Ring #7 Oj6976Vintage Sterling Figural Dolphin Tennis Bracelet 8.3gDolphin Brand Mini Flint Normal Flame Metal Cigarettes Lighter Smoking Set NewBrand Dolphin Normal Regular Butane Gas Refillable Cigarettes Cigar Mini LighterReuge Ch 3/144 Music Box - Andrew Lloyd Webber - Lead Crystal Case - Dolphin FtHeisey Glass *empress* Nasturtium Bowl ~sahara Yellow-3 Dolphin Toes-c.1930's