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Tulip Mania!

 

During the Dutch Golden Age the fledging Republic went through what is commonly called “Tulip Mania”. Having been introduced to Europe from the Ottoman Empire in the mid-16th century by the beginning of the 17th century the price of tulip bulbs skyrocketed in the leading European financial centre of the era, the Dutch Republic.

As the price of bulbs increased speculative investors purchased bulbs hoping to make huge profits. At the height of the tulip market a single bulb was worth a fortune, the equivalent of a fashionable townhouse in Amsterdam. Inevitably this all came to a crashing end in 1637 when the price of tulips tumbled and vast fortunes were lost.

The legacy of the tulip mania is still with us today. It is synonymous with speculative bubbles where the price of an asset far outweighs its intrinsic value, vast fortunes are made practically overnight and are lost just as quickly once the “bubble bursts”.

Lot 655 at our auction this week is a lovely set of 8 floral prints of tulips. So although not on the same scale as 17th century Dutch Republic, we do hope to create a little mania of our own over these great prints and help keep the memory of the first great financial bubble, Tulip Mania, alive but hopefully never to be repeated.

Lot 655
Lot 655
Lot 655
Lot 655
Lot 655
Lot 655
Lot 655
Lot 655

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