Believe it or not, someone did. But this isn’t the kind of cold-weather accessory you’d wear around your neck — even if it would go particularly nicely with a black trench. Instead, it’s a silk scarf designed by none other than Henri Matisse.
The history of the scarf begins in 1964, when Zika Ascher, founder of the eponymous scarf brand, convinced a powerhouse of artists to produce pieces for his label (Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, and Matisse were among the most recognizable names).
Still, why so expensive? The scarf is the original piece of limited run of thirty scarves produced bearing Matisse’s Oceanie, La Mer print, which was based on his visit to Tahiti in 1940. And before being shipped off to London for auction at Christie’s, it hung on a wall in the artist’s studio.
Sam Ascher, grandson of Zika and creative director of the brand, shared his thoughts with Vogue UK:
“I think this result speaks to the originality of the Ascher Artist Squares project, and of course to the genius of Matisse. It makes me very proud that the concept and the collaborations originated by my grandfather are still treasured today. The line between fashion and art is a question of continual and endless debate, however in this case I think there is little room for argument. The original project achieved its success by remaining devoid of commercialism, if we can achieve a fraction of this success in the collaborations we are currently planning we will be extremely happy.”
Though whether the work really was “devoid of commercialism” is up for debate, Ascher should be pleased that a rather nondescript scarf depicting some ambiguous hammerhead sharks, dolphins, and worm-like creatures managed to fetch more than Selena Gomez’s net worth.