How did the unicorn become a marvelous symbol?
With its majestic look, its fiery mane and its multicolored horn, the unicorn seems straight out of a fairy tale or the spirit of JCVD. How did this magical creature - today an emblematic figure of our brand - become a marvelous symbol? Come on, we're taking you into our old grimoires to discover the origin of this incredible winged animal.
Who is the guy behind this fantastic discovery?
It may be so IVth century but its blaze is Ctesias and it was the first who decided to take up his little pen to talk about “ monoceros ”. While traveling around Persia (#teambaroudeur), the Greek doctor quickly realized that he wouldn't be there just to taste the local cuisine.
In his bestseller on unicorns entitled The History of India , Ctesias transcribed the testimonies of the Indians he met on his way. Small confessions between friends and big scoop in perspective! For the Indians, the unicorn is a symbol of good fortune: a mix between a donkey, a horse and a rhinoceros, the animal is admired for its great beauty and prized for the medicinal properties of its horn. It was enough to arouse the curiosity of Ctesias! Simple myth or reality? These fairy creatures with white fur and long twisted horns gave him some hell of a sleepless night...
We wonder, however, if our Ctesias did not get carried away a little quickly. Was he on meds? No, at least not according to the report by Jean-Michel, our expert. Was he under a spell? Ah yes, and not just a little. That said, we prefer to say that unicorns are very real and that Ctesias was not crazy. Because if we all need a Sylvie in our life, Ctesias too... Right?
How is the unicorn a timeless source of inspiration?
Several centuries later, the unicorn still weighs as much in the game. In the Middle Ages, it was considered the symbol of purity and wisdom par excellence. Quickly, the Christian Church made her a divine creature and many links were established between the unicorn and Christ. As a pure and good animal, the unicorn symbolizes Jesus and is often depicted in medieval biblical works of art (cf. the tapestries of Maître d'Anne de Bretagne: La Dame à la Licorne and The Unicorn Hunt ).
However, between the time of our dear Ctesias and that of the Knights of the Round Table, the symbol of the unicorn had plenty of time to evolve! If in antiquity the unicorn was thought of as an animal with the power to heal the zigotos of the time, it became the symbol of wisdom and virginity in the eyes of the contemporaries of Merlin.
No wonder then that there are so many paintings, coats of arms and sculptures representing unicorns at this time! Everyone is on the job and is pulling out their best tools to represent this symbol of perfection.
You will therefore have understood, Daenerys could have been the mother of the Unicorns. So the scriptwriters of GOT, leaving for a version GOT way Merci Handy?
Did you know that the unicorn was a symbol in England, Scotland and Canada?
In the 16th century, Henry VIII was very very hot. For the decoration of his palace, he called on the Valérie Damidot of the time and asked for a total “Unicorn Spirit” makeover. A few months later, we bring him several sculptures of unicorns to decorate his small studio of 5850 m² and here is our Henricito in heaven! So simple weird fad or true tribute to this winged creature?
In fact, several countries have a special connection with our friends the unicorns. On the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, the fantastic animal appears alongside the lion as a symbol of Scottish strength! Ditto on the Arms of Canada, very similar to those of the United Kingdom because of their common past. Also, do not be surprised to see statues of unicorns in Scotland, England or Canada! On our side, we are working to install one in Palavas-les-Flots asap , I promise.
The legend of the unicorn: even more intense today?
Finally, we have the impression that the legend of the unicorn is immortal. It goes through the ages without taking a wrinkle and still amazes young and old alike. On the literature side, Barjavel , Haruki Murakami or JK Rowling are inspired by unicorns to create wonderful stories and put some sparkle in our lives (sorry Kevin, next time!).
But the unicorn also invites itself on another ground: it becomes a symbol of popular culture. Pyjamas, stuffed animals, phone cases, LGBT emblems, slime, cakes, make-up palettes, startup darlings (hello, that's us!), memes … The unicorn's ultra-kawaii aura is everywhere! Moreover, at Merci Handy, we wanted to prove the charisma of the unicorn to the whole Earth during our last poster campaign in the Parisian metros ... And we even pushed the plug super far (big up in Mauritius) by displaying the portrait of the artist John Hamon disguised as a unicorn on the facade of the Eiffel Tower !
Because it is both the symbol of cuteness and strength, the unicorn has become obvious at Merci Handy. If we decided to celebrate this creature with magic wings by making it our emblem, it is because it perfectly symbolizes our universe: a world where rainbows do not just follow rain and where wonder is part of our happiness.
So kittens, never stop believing in unicorns. They are magical, beautiful and bearers of hope. We believed in it and today all our dreams (even the wildest) have come true*.
*apart from eating an Italian ice cream one-on-one with Leonardo Dicaprio, but we keep our fingers crossed.