Tulipomania ready

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Revised and final presentation for 1.10.10

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  • Winkel - involved in bulb trade from 1635, by spring 1636 owned 70 fine or superbly fine, plus pound goods, inc. 2 Viceroy and three Admirael van der Eijck, 7 Gouda (all worth 1000 guilders and up) Special catalogue illustrating 124 of the flowers Winkel auction took place at height of a mania for buying and selling tulip bulbs that , if popular belief is to be credited, all but consumed the Netherlands, one of the richest and most sophisticated societies of the day Why Holland? Why tulips? To answer that question we have first to go back to the birthplace of the modern tulip, the inaccessible mountain ranges of central Asia, in about the year 800
  • Winkel - involved in bulb trade from 1635, by spring 1636 owned 70 fine or superbly fine, plus pound goods, inc. 2 Viceroy and three Admirael van der Eijck, 7 Gouda (all worth 1000 guilders and up) Special catalogue illustrating 124 of the flowers Winkel auction took place at height of a mania for buying and selling tulip bulbs that , if popular belief is to be credited, all but consumed the Netherlands, one of the richest and most sophisticated societies of the day Why Holland? Why tulips? To answer that question we have first to go back to the birthplace of the modern tulip, the inaccessible mountain ranges of central Asia, in about the year 800
  • Natural barriers, E.N.W.S.: Impassable desert, barren taiga, warring khanates, Tibetan plateau Unfinished article: Shorter, hardy, predominantly red
  • Five precious flowers - Tulip, narcissus, rose, carnation, hyacinth Imperial symbol - 9” embossed tulip on Suleiman’s armour Paradise gardens - wild profusion, seduce with lushness and plenty; contrast to regimented European ideal Professional gardeners- propagation haphazard - pour red wine on roots for crimson flowers Tulip festivals - Istanbul tulips - needle pointed, almond shaped, daggerlike tepals
  • Five precious flowers - Tulip, narcissus, rose, carnation, hyacinth Imperial symbol - 9” embossed tulip on Suleiman’s armour Paradise gardens - wild profusion, seduce with lushness and plenty; contrast to regimented European ideal Istanbul tulips - needle pointed, almond shaped, daggerlike tepals
  • Five precious flowers - Tulip, narcissus, rose, carnation, hyacinth Imperial symbol - 9” embossed tulip on Suleiman’s armour Paradise gardens - wild profusion, seduce with lushness and plenty; contrast to regimented European ideal Istanbul tulips - needle pointed, almond shaped, daggerlike tepals Acceptable and beautiful - tulip festivals; Ahmed III and the tulip era (1703-30); by night, candles by every fourth flower and mounted on the backs of tortoises; caged songbirds; countless mirrors and reflections. Deposed by Patrona Halil
  • Augsberg - Johann Heinrich Herwart Antwerp - merchant’s onions Clusius - 1526-1609. Frenchman, protestant convert, humanist; became botanist; 9 languages; enjoys stocking gardens of friends
  • Augsberg - Johann Heinrich Herwart Antwerp - merchant’s onions Clusius - Frenchman, protestant convert, humanist; became botanist; 9 languages; enjoys stocking gardens of friends Emperor Maximillian invites him to establish hortus; but too busy to see him; on his death, Rudolf II fires all protestants; Clusius also endures thefts from garden Leiden - Ditch revolt 1572, Leiden frontline city; longest hardest siege - now independent, Netherlands poured resources in to only Dutch university Hortus academicus emulates one in Pisa Thefts from garden - several hundred bulbs in total
  • Groups - actually 13 in total, from Colouren - single colored all the way to Marquetrianen (four colors - complex hybrids)
  • Admiral van der Eijck Naming rights to man who first grew them; Inflationary names generalissimo, Alexander the Great, then Admirale der admirals, general de generalen Process of creation not understood - Turkish wine, Dutch binding two halves, pigeon dung… ‘breaking’ unpredictable, but bulbs did not revert. Actually, infection with the Mosaic virus, spread by aphids, not realised till 1920s
  • Viceroy
  • Root en Gheel van Leiden
  • Drab country - Owain Fletham called it ‘an universall quagmire - the buttock of the world’ Rich merchants - 400% profits on spice voyages; 3000 to 30,000 guilders a year at a time when a family could live for 300 Country houses - tulips so rare mirror cabinets were used
  • Drab country - Owain Fletham called it ‘an universall quagmire - the buttock of the world’ Rich merchants - 400% profits on spice voyages; 3000 to 30,000 guilders a year at a time when a family could live for 300 Country houses - tulips so rare mirror cabinets were used
  • Drab country - Owain Fletham called it ‘an universall quagmire - the buttock of the world’ Rich merchants - 400% profits on spice voyages; 3000 to 30,000 guilders a year at a time when a family could live for 300 Country houses - tulips so rare mirror cabinets were used Semper Augustus. How do we know what it looked like? Explain tulip books here
  • Slow to propagate - 7 years from seed
  • Mention major outbreak of plague 1633-36
  • View of Delft - Vermeer, just after tulip boom Looks smart, neat Actually, most of population lived just above starvation level Variable working hours - ordinances to prevent work starting before 2am Unable to earn enough in darker winter months to make a living Cities crowded so rents high Most people saved half their lives to buy a bed, so small slept in standing position with children in drawers Many asked for overtime after 14 hour days Monotonous diet. Hutspot, supposed to simmer, usually didn’t. One appalled French visitor: ‘Nothing more than water, full of salt and nutmeg, with sweetbreads and minced meat added, having not the slightest flavor of meat.’ Appeal of planting and sitting back Add to which contradictory elements of Dutch character: savers and gamblers. National horror of living beyond means meant many people had savings, but no banks, no interest, so investment rare - mostly kept under beds etc Lotteries popular, so were mad bets (DUTCH SOLDIERS IN BATTLE) Tulip prices had risen consistently for years - A safe bet
  • Wijnkoopsgeld - Breweries - 100; Taverns - 200 in Haarlem alone; 120,000 pints a day in a city of 30,000 ‘ Unless the conditions in which bulbs were actually traded are understood - late at night, in smoke-filled rooms, by drunken men - the mania itself will always remain a mystery.’ Mention De Gulde Druyf - The Golden Grape in Haarlem - owned by Jan & Cornelis Quaeckel Taverns heated with peat, fuggy with tobacco, surrender weapons at the door - ‘A hundred Netherlanders, a hundred knives,’ the contemp proverb bluntly warned Theophile De Viau: ‘These gentlemen have so many rules and ceremonies for getting drunk that I am repelled as much by the discipline as by the excess.’
  • Wijnkoopsgeld - max 6 stuivers By the ace - from Dec 1634 - Admirael Liefkins from 48 to 224 aces, Paragon Liefkins from 131 to 434; this alone cd increase a flower’s value 5fold in 9 months Futures trading evolved 1st on Amsterdam stock market in about 1608 Tulips 1st commodity to be traded by other than specialists Seen as fundamentally immoral to trade something one did not possess Futures trade rules illegal in 1621, 1623, 1624, 1630, 1636
  • Wijnkoopsgeld - Futures trading evolved 1st on Amsterdam stock market in early 1600s Tulips 1st commodity to be traded by other than specialists Some florists banded together to buy shares in a bulb
  • Wijnkoopsgeld - to a max of 3 guilders “ This trade must be done with an intoxicated head, and the bolder one is, the better.” Payment in kind - one deposit consisted of ‘my best shot coat, one old coin, and another with a silver chain to hang it round the neck, , a coach and horses ,two silver bowls, and 150 guilders cash
  • Met de borden In het ootje Volume of trade: if the average dealer bought one pound of bulbs per day, volume of trade would have been 7m guilders in each of 12 towns from Oct 1636-Jan 1637 (double the 3.5m capitalisation of Bank of Amsterdam, more that capitlisation of VOC (6.5m)) Nominal turnover 1633-37, 40m guilders
  • All bulbs in play - unicoloured bulbs in and sold by the basket, 50 to 100 in each Gheele Croonen, yellow crowns, 20 guilders in Sep 36, 1400 in Feb 37
  • All bulbs in play - unicoloured bulbs in and sold by the basket, 50 to 100 in each Gheele Croonen, yellow crowns, 20 guilders in Sep 36, 1400 in Feb 37 Supernova
  • All bulbs in play - unicoloured bulbs in and sold by the basket, 50 to 100 in each Gheele Croonen, yellow crowns, 20 guilders in Sep 36, 1400 in Feb 37 Supernova ‘ In most places the tavern trade collapsed so completely that it was not even a question of prices falling to a quarter or a tenth of what they had been; the market for tulips simply ceased to exist
  • Crash in prices - compare to Wall St Crash. Holland, crash of 95% over 2 months; WSC, down 80% over 2 years Growers of provinces of Holland and Utrecht call a general meeting 7 Feb.
  • Crash in prices - compare to Wall St Crash. Holland, crash of 95% over 2 months; WSC, down 80% over 2 years Growers of provinces of Holland and Utrecht call a general meeting 7 Feb. ‘ When my buyer pays me, I will pay you. But he is nowhere to be found.’
  • Crash in prices - compare to Wall St Crash. Holland, crash of 95% over 2 months; WSC, down 80% over 2 years Growers of provinces of Holland and Utrecht call a general meeting 7 Feb/ ‘ When my buyer pays me, I will pay you. But he is nowhere to be found.’ Flora’s Sick Bed; The Fall of the Great Garden-Whore, the Villain-Goddess Flora Jan Breughel the Younger, Allegory Upon the Tulip mania 2 dozen simian florists indulge in the rituals of the bulb trade; one holds a flower in one paw and a bag of money in the other; a group in rear fight over who should pay; one speculator is carried to an early grave
  • In Haarlem, uncertainty; 7 March regents resolution annuls all transactions since Oct 1636; then (late April), all debts to be met in full; then, (early May) appeal for ruling from the States of Holland Pending a resolution - there never was one. Individuals took action- this is a notarial record of a legal case brought by Walter Tulkens Court refers to towns - only in Amsterdam was it still legal to bring cases before the local court Few cases resolved - most defaulted back to the grower. Those that were settled were at low rates - ‘one, two, three, four, yes, even five, which was the utmost, out of a hundred’ Friend makers - usually at well under 10% and 10 months to pay ‘ The tulip mania thus ended, as the Court of Holland had wished, not in a flurry of expensive legal actions, but with a grudging compromise
  • In Haarlem, uncertainty; 7 March regents resolution annuls all transactions since Oct 1636; then (late April), all debts to be met in full; then, (early May) appeal for ruling from the States of Holland Pending a resolution - there never was one. Individuals took action- this is a notarial record of a legal case brought by Walter Tulkens Returns to equilibrium - these are flowers to be grown Court refers to towns - only in Amsterdam was it still legal to bring cases before the local court Few cases resolved - most defaulted back to the grower. Those that were settled were at low rates - ‘one, two, three, four, yes, even five, which was the utmost, out of a hundred’ Friend makers - usually at well under 10% and 10 months to pay ‘ The tulip mania thus ended, as the Court of Holland had wished, not in a flurry of expensive legal actions, but with a grudging compromise
  • Spider lily, grown in Manchuria from 1930s - similar conditions to 1637, limited opportunities for investment and trade, ample supply of bulbs 1981, $20 per bulb, 1985 $46,000 - puts the tulip mania to shame. About 300x annual earnings Critical articles in Communist press lead to collapse. Prices go south by 99% Isolated - a few still grown by specialist societies. Oldest variety - final irony is, huge efforts made to breed flowers that resemble those of the mania. But without the virus’s brightness and vivid colouring, will never see the likes again
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