"Stryd Tuszen de Smullende Bubbel Heeren, en de Aanstaande Armoede", Anon.
Subject: Satire - Stock Trading
Period: 1720 (circa)
Publication: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid…
Color: Black & White
16 x 10.9 inches
40.6 x 27.7 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 depicts a fight between "Feasting Bubble Gentlemen" and "Coming Poverty." The Bubble Gentlemen are on the left, led by a fat woman riding a wine barrel with meat hanging off of her. At right are the poor, represented by fishermen and a thin woman riding a wicker basket and carrying fish, bread and potatoes. There are five columns of verses in Dutch below the scene. With text the engraving measures 16.0 x 14.6".
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.
A nice impression on a bright sheet with some small chips and tears along the edges of the sheet.