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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 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. 


Minted

Hand pressed earthenware tiles, silkscreened Delft tulip pattern c.1650, cobalt

2015

 

 

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