Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 745

"[Lot of 4 - Satirical Engravings]",

Subject: Satire - Stock Trading

Period: 1720 (circa)

Publication: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid…

Color: Hand Color

See Description

This group of engravings are from a satirical account of the collapse of the French Compagnie de la Louisiane d'Occident, known as the Mississippi Bubble incident, and 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.

Actieuse papiere Atlas naar de mode met zyn na-sleep … (The Atlas of share-paper a la mode with his accomplices) (13.3 x 10.8")
De Begeerlykheyt Zoekt de Fortuin t'achterhalen of voor by the Loopen (Covetousness tries either to overtake or to outrun fortune) (15 x 13")
Harlekin en Bombario en den Rouw (Harlequin and Bombario in mourning) 3 x 5" on a sheet of text (12 x 16.5")
Spiegel der Reden voor de Wanhopende Actionisten (Mirror for the reason of the despairing stockbrokers) (3 x 5" on a sheet of text 12 x 16.5")


Condition: A

Wide original margins with a few minor spots and creases.

Estimate: $375 - $450


Closed on 2/16/2011