Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Legend of the Silk Princess

"Once upon a time, in the high and far off days of long ago, lived a princess in the land of silk.." How best to tell the tale of one of the greatest technology thefts in history? The way the BBC has in its remarkable series, A History Of The World in 100 Objects. Each episode highlights a particular object like the widely known Rosetta Stone, to the hardly known Sphinx of Tharquo, and brings the listener into the time the work was created as well as the life and beliefs of the person who made it. Not only are these stories fascinating, they pack a rich history lesson into riveting 15min podcasts that are free n' downloadable from the BBC's website.

In my business, we're always looking for the right angle or best way to bring a story to life. There's no one way, and not even a best way- what's best for me isn't always best for you or your neighbor. But there's always a chance for the innovative and inspiring and for this I thank the brilliant Art Historian Neil MacGregor and the folks at BBC for dedicating the resources and sharing the significance of the collection at The British Museum.

And now, as the late, great storyteller Paul Harvey would say, for the 'rest of the story'.....
On this faded wooden panel above you can see scenes from the Central Asian story of the Silk Princess. According to this legend, a Chinese princess smuggled the secret of how to make silk out of China and into the country of her new husband, the king of Khotan. As she was a princess the border guards did not dare search her. In this painting her elaborate headdress conceals the cocoons of the silk moth and the seeds of the mulberry tree....more