"De Viaantsche Tol-Poort voor d'Actionisten Komende uyt Alle Steeden", Anon.
Subject: Satire - Stock Trading
Period: 1720 (circa)
Publication: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid…
Color: Black & White
12.3 x 6.3 inches
31.2 x 16 cm
This engraving is from the important account of one the most infamous financial meltdowns in history, known as the Mississippi Bubble incident. This engraved view is titled "The Tollgate of Vianen for the Shareholders Arriving from all Towns." Vianen was located in a region owned by a German count and became a refuge to those suffering losses during the Bubble's collapse. Anyone who could pay the toll to enter the city would be granted sanctuary from creditors, and thus "moving to Vianen" became a euphemism for "going bankrupt." There are three columns of verses in Dutch below the scene. With text measures 12.3 x 12.5".
John Law, a Scottish financier, established the Banque Generale (central bank) in France. He was then granted control of Louisiana and founded the Compagnie de la Louisiane d'Occident, in 1717. Law developed an elaborate plan to exploit the fabulous resources of the region, which quickly gained popularity and people rushed to invest, not just in France, but throughout Europe. This resulted in the development of several other overseas companies, such as the English South Sea Company and a number of smaller companies in the Dutch Republic. The share prices rose dramatically in a frenzy of speculation. In 1720 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.
On a full sheet of watermarked paper with a few minute worm holes only visible when held to light.