I found this silk purse at a sale in Bath, courtesy of Vintage to Vogue (www.vintagetovoguebath.co.uk). Holy cow, does it tell a story! Jim Thompson, who gave his name to the brand, was an American visionary and world traveler. In the 30s he worked as an architect in NYC and became interested in costume design while a board member for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. After serving his country in WWII, Thompson settled in Bangkok. Fascinated with the artistry of silk, by 1950 he founded a majority Thai-owned silk design and production company. His fabrics had a devoted following among interior decorators, couturiers and costume designers. The spectacular clothing featured in the 'King and I' was fashioned from Jim Thompson Thai silks. In 1967 Thompson disappeared while vacationing in Malaysia. The search to find him was epic, the media coverage vast, but he was never found. The purse was bought at a vintage sale where for £20 buyers could fill a shopping bag with 2nd-hand goodies.
Thanks to www.jimthompsonfabrics.com for some of the facts in this post