Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 763

"De Stropende Actie-Valk, om Hals, en 't Bubbel-Rotje Onder de Klaauwen van den Uil", Anon.

Subject: Satire - Stock Trading

Period: 1720 (circa)

Publication: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid…

Color: Black & White

10.8 x 13.4 inches
27.4 x 34 cm
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This engraving is from the important account of one the most infamous financial meltdowns in history, known as the Mississippi Bubble incident. The title translates as: "The strapping share-hawk pierced and the bubble-rat between the claws of the owl" and shows a hawk being pierced in the chest by a hawk, while below a rat is being torn apart by an owl and a crow. The hawk and rat symbolize the destruction of the Mississippi Bubble. There are columns of verses in Dutch flanking the scene, printed from a separate plate.

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.


Condition: A

A dark impression, issued folding on a bright sheet with the Amsterdam coat of arms watermark and some light stains at top right.

Estimate: $70 - $85


Closed on 9/15/2021