Auction 132, Lot 698

"[Lot of 2] By Veele Zit de Kei In't Hooft om dat men in de Wind Gelooft [and] Quincampoix in Duigen", Anon.

Subject: Miscellany - Financial Speculation

Period: 1720 (published)

Publication: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid …

Color: Hand Color

Size:
15.2 x 12 inches
38.6 x 30.5 cm

These engravings are from a Dutch satirical account of the great financial speculation that swept across Europe in 1719-20. The collapse of the French Compagnie de la Louisiane d'Occident, known as the Mississippi Bubble incident was one of the most infamous financial meltdowns in history. John Law, a Scottish financier, established the company in 1717 and was granted control of Louisiana. Law developed an elaborate plan to exploit the fabulous resources of the region, which quickly gained popularity and people rushed to invest. Share prices opened at 500 livres and rapidly rose to 18,000 livres. At this point the bubble burst; speculators cashed in, caused a run on the shares, and the company went bankrupt. As a consequence of the failure, confidence in other similar companies failed, and thousands of individual investors across Europe were ruined. There is plenty of inspiration here for a present-day political cartoonist.

References:

Condition: A

There are some minor stains in the blank margins.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $220

Closed on 6/2/2010

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