Princess and the Pea

2011

When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine, a medical condition where the spine is curved abnormally from side to side. It was predicted that without aggressive treatment my forthcoming adolescent growth spurt would inevitably worsen the disease and make me a hunchback without any marriage prospects. My family was horrified. One of the treatments prescribed to me was sleeping on a hard surface without a mattress. For several years I slept on bare boards hoping with all my might that my scoliosis would not progress, and that someday, somebody would want to marry me.

It is impossible to describe how insulted I felt when I first read the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, which tells of a spoiled girl who requires as many mattresses as possible to be able to sleep. In order to deal with the sheer unfairness of it, I began to imagine the Princess had a medical condition herself, such as hemophilia, a disorder that impairs the body’s ability to clot blood. In my version, her disease made it lethal to sleep on anything but the softest stack of mattresses, because if she came into contact with anything even remotely hard she would bleed to death. Every night could be a potential death sentence.

Looking at The Princess and the Pea this way put things into perspective and helped me to overcome my own self-pity.

Materials:

All accessories are cast in sterling silver, plated with 24 karat gold, synthetic-enameled, assembled and embellished with 13 micro pearls, 3 Zirconiums 2 Swarovski crystals, lace, tulle, ribbon and tassels. Crown is magnetic. The bed is constructed from maple and pinewood, stained and varnished. There are 19 mattresses, 9 pillows, 3 quilts, 2 blankets and lots of tassels. It measures at 28” (72cm) h x 11.5” (29.5cm) d x 16.5” (42cm) w. Ball-jointed, porcelain, china-painted doll with industrial spring construction, magnetic mohair wig, and leather lining in the joints. 13.5” (34.5cm) tall.

 

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