During the rise of the internet cryptocurrency Bitcoin, analysts likened its behaviour to that of Tulipmania in the Dutch Golden Age. Tulipmania is often referred to as the first
recorded speculative bubble driven by inflated prices for tulip bulbs which rapidly collapsed. Above are two graphs each representing a paralleled rise respectively. Tulips took hold
of the Dutch economy and imagination and became symbols of wealth and status. Being highly coveted, the Dutch would have a single bloom in the centre of a garden filled with
mirrors. They went to great alchemical lengths to encourage a 'break' in the blooms which produced flairs of striking vivid colours in the petals, making them ever more valuable. In
the 1920's it was found that a virus produced these breaks in colour which was then furiously bred out of the tulips, in their place remained the ubiquitous uniform tulips of today, a
reliable Dutch commodity.
During Tulipmania the Dutch East India Company brought porcelain to Holland from China via South Africa. The Dutch could not master the production of porcelain nor afford to
to buy the imports from China so instead they used white earthenware as an imitation. Delftware soon became ubiquitous and made its way throughout Europe, Africa and back to
Asia where imitations were then created of it. As cheap imitations became more widespread much of the original Delft value was lost. Delft tiles have now become rarefied and
highly sought after with ever increasing value.
Hand pressed earthenware tiles with silkscreened Delft tulip pattern c.1650