Dolphin Whistle, musical jewelry created in Key West, Florida
Dolphin Whistles by Steve Allerton, Key West, Florida
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The Dolphin Whistle

Invented in Key West, Florida by artist and musician Steve Allerton. It is at once a  jewelry object, a musical instrument, and a sublime sculpture. It is an attempt at interspecies communication in a poetic sense. In the artist's mind, this musical instrument produces the call of the dolphin.

The Dolphin Whistle is the confluence of art, musical instrument craft, spiritual talisman, interspecies communication, and 100% positive energy. By placing ones lips to the rostrum (mouth) of the dolphin and blowing gently, tones simulating that of the bottlenose dolphin can be produced. A sense of well being and harmony are among the benefits to anyone holding, wearing or playing this musical instrument.

The Dolphin Whistle is a calling devise, a work of art, a musical instrument, and an accessory. It can be a gift, an expression of love, a means of barter or a peace offering. It has been used as a totem, a token, and a talisman. It is thought to be the world’s most perfect object.

Dolphin Whistles

Dolphin Whistles

Steve Allerton playing a dolphin whistle to the dolphin swimming by

History of the Dolphin Whistle

In the late 1970’s Steve Allerton left the frozen tundra of upstate New York on a rickety 24 ft. sailboat headed for Key West, FL. Four to six months should have been enough time to make the voyage, but because of economic challenges, a series of complicated love affairs, near death experiences, and the failure of at least thirteen outboard motors, it would be seven years before Steve would set foot in tropical paradise. On his trip down the Intracoastal Waterway, periodic dolphin encounters punctuated the long hours at the tiller as if to say…. continue on old soul.  Days of promise await you.

On his voyage, Steve lived by his wits as a street musician stopping in ports along the way. He made bamboo flutes and sold them. He played his music to anyone who would listen. In Baltimore he entered the jewelry trade drawing on his art school background to learn the skills of a bench man. After a few years he resumed his voyage.

Steve reached Key West in the early eighties. He immediately got a job as a jeweler in one of the local shops. The sea still beaconed him though. He acquired a little nicer boat and started a charter boat operation.  Life was good in the Keys, but things would get even better. The Eureka moment came one day out at sea. Dolphins drew near as they often did. Everyone on board was excited. 'If only I could talk or communicate with them in some way', Steve thought. It occurred to him. There were duck calls, bird whistles and dog whistles. Why not a Dolphin Whistle?

Months turned into years as Steve developed his invention. Using his jewelry skills he made prototypes. His knowledge of flutes and other musical instruments guided him toward what would produce a good sound. His encounters with dolphins provided insight into the mind and spirit of those intrepid creatures. The first whistles were made of silver and gold. They were beautiful but expensive and labor intensive. Even still, over the years people from all over the world bought Steve’s whistles.

More years went by. Steve dreamt of improving the whistle. The design crystallized in his mind but costs and technical problems kept the dream out of reach. A witch's caldron of hurricanes, floods, the death of friends and a family member, love lost and found, and a series of financial windfalls caused Steve to ask himself- 'If not now, when'? Another whirlwind of creativity ensued.

Today’s Dolphin Whistles are comfortable to wear, produce a beautiful tone, and are very reasonably priced. They are loud enough to ride on the wind and call out to all God's creatures- dolphins included. The end of a lifelong quest, an artistic achievement, it is a perfect object.


email me for special requests or if having difficulty

Ordering Instuctions:
  1. Choose your whistle.
  2. Choose your lanyard color.
  3. Press "Add to Cart" button, press continue shopping.
  4. Choose your scrimshaw. (Optional, Additonal charges apply.)
  5. Choose your shipping preference.
  6. Standard Domestic: 2-7 business days.
    • Priority Domestic: 1-3 business days.
    • Standard International:7-14 business days.
    • Priority International: 3-5 business days.
Faux Ivory Dolphin Whistles comes with lanyard and instructions
Dolphin Whistle
Lanyard Color
To view or order Steve's Scrimshaw Designs click here.

What is Scrimshaw?

Scrimshaw is ancient mariner’s art of decorating whalebone and ivory. Sailors would pass their idle hours inscribing their designs with a sharp knife. They would then rub ink into the lines and wipe away the excess. The result would be pictures of uncommon detail and beauty.

All my work is done on faux ivory and thus no animals are harmed. Don’t call PETA!

Click here to visit the SCRIMSHAW page.

What is Faux Ivory?

Faux ivory is a material that was developed to substitute for real ivory. It is ideal for the purposes ivory had historically been used for, piano keys and other musical instrument parts among other uses. It is a high density nylon like material. It has the look and feel of ivory but is far more durable. It can be worked and molded and even decorated with the ancient seafarer's art of scrimshaw. It has the added advantage of not requiring the slaughter of innocent creatures in order to be harvested.

Steve Allerton with Dolphin Whistle

For further assistance, please contact:

Steve Allerton
13 Del Mar Blvd
Key West, FL 33040

305 294-4524


To visit Steve's music and wedding site, click here.

Harp on the Wind CD by Steve Allerton Ghost of Christmas CD by Steve Allerton Seafarer CD by Steve Allerton
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