What makes an icon? When it comes to yacht interiors, it might not always be what you’d expect. There are the obvious head-turners and there are the yachts that stand the test of time. Among all these we find the rare icons, the ones that set the bar, that broke the mould, that tested new ground. Some of these hold up today, while some we look back on with a what-were-they-thinking arch of an eyebrow, but there is no denying they define an era. From glamorous to garish and daring to boldly discreet, each of these yachts is a symbol of their time.
Built for automobile pioneer Horace Dodge and named after his daughter, Delphine was America’s largest steamship yacht, at 78.5 metres. She defined early 1920s glamour, with a smoking lounge and a pipe organ for entertainment in an interior that made her suitable as the flagship for Admiral Ernest King, commander in chief of the US Fleet during the Second World War.
Delphine is also an icon of restoration. She caught fire and sank in New York in 1926 and the family salvaged and restored her to as-new condition. She then ran aground in 1940 and was repaired. Finally, in 1997, she was sold for scrap and underwent a six-year, $60 million restoration, pictured here. Today she’s the only yacht of the era with her original steam engines in service.