The Watts Blog

What is a Hand Cooler?

In a world of air conditioning and climate control, the term “hand cooler” likely elicits a great deal of confusion. The term itself dates back to the Victorian era, where layers of clothing were dictated by fashion, but for ladies in social situations, sweaty hands were particularly disastrous. Egg-shaped glass or stone items would keep even the most pristinely gloved hands cool to the touch, averting the embarrassment of a clammy palm while dancing, and they were small enough to be tucked neatly into a purse or reticule.

Today, a hand cooler retains the rough egg shape and would still fit into the palm of your hand, but they are used as paperweights or decorative objects. Steuben has been known for their hand coolers since the early 20th century. These unique objects are the perfect gift for a collector, an animal lover, or for the symbolic meaning behind each figurine.

As Steuben has again begun to be produced, Watts is proud to offer an assortment of hand coolers for all of life’s occasions:

The classic wisdom of the owl is a great gift for a graduate.

The cat traditionally gives a blessing to a newly married couple.

An elephant brings luck to a new endeavor.

The appearance of the resilient cardinal shows that spring is coming at last after a long winter.

The pride of an eagle celebrates the accomplishments of a new promotion or position.

The abundance of fish in the ocean symbolizes wealth and prosperity in the Chinese Feng Shui.

The perseverance of the penguin hatching its child through the perils of an Antarctic winter shows the blessings that come after a long struggle.

Lovebirds, always seen as a pair, are a symbol of love and commitment.

The swan, sacred to the goddess Venus, is a classical symbol of love.

The strength of a tiger in the wild, with its courage and ferocity, celebrates great accomplishments.

The playfulness of the classic Rubber Ducky celebrates youth and childhood.

The pelican became a symbol of devotion in the legend of the mother who stopped at nothing to feed her child in the scarcity of winter.

The dedication of the mother cat to the kitten is a great gift to celebrate mother’s day.

The comfort of two puppies snuggled together for warmth and security celebrates family love.

The dolphin is one of the world’s most intelligent creatures.

The groundhog, though only thought of once a year, makes visionary predictions about the appearance of spring.

The Hindu Ganesha celebrates luck and good fortune.

The classic teddy bear welcomes a new addition to the family.

The slow and steady tortoise shows the rewards of patience.

The peaceful sleeping deer grants calm and tranquility.

The bunny is a symbol of renewal of spring and new life.

Shop the entire collection!


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