Tulipmania Art Journal

A collection of remarkable facts about tulips

Tulips were the cause of the first major financial bubble in human history

After having been brought to the Netherlands in 1593 by Carolus Clusius, the prefect of the Botanical Garden of the University of Leiden, tulips started spreading in the Netherlands and gaining popularity. They were extremely praised and coveted, as an exclusive rarity and a luxury item to possess, and started being sought after and traded at very high prices, which brought about a phenomenon known as Tulip mania – the first major financial bubble in the world. 

Sales contracts were usually concluded for bulbs which were planted and the contracts were to be honoured in summer, when the bulbs could be lifted from the ground. But most of the buyers never got to see the bulbs they traded, because the same bulbs could be resold up to 10 times a day, their buyers not being interested in buying the bulbs themselves, but in immediately reselling the bulbs they acquired at a higher price. The market rocketed during the winter of 1636-1637, when single tulip bulbs sold for as much as 10 times the annual income of a skilled crafts worker. The collapse happened in February 1637, when buyers refused for the first time to show up at a bulb auction and the trade in tulip bulbs stopped abruptly. 

Many people lost their fortunes overnight. But, luckily, tulips did not loose their popularity among connoisseurs and the trade in bulbs continued, even though at a slower pace and at much lower prices. This made the survival of tulips possible and allowed them to live on to modern times and continue playing a significant role in the Dutch economy.

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“Everything you didn’t know about the tulip”


Did you know that tulips don’t have petals and can grow from seeds and not only from bulbs? Have you ever heard of the tulip formula, the tulip coin or one single tulip bulb serving as a bride’s dowry? Were you aware that the Peace tulip is actually dedicated to John Lennon and Yoko Ono? All these and many more other curious facts about the tulip will be revealed in all detail in our book.

The book is in progress. If you are interested in acquiring it, please subscribe to get notified when it will be launched.

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