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Tulip Mania

The Tulip Book contains 122 pictures of tulips, made by Jacob Isaacsz of Swanenburch, Leiden citizen (1571-1638, in the 1620s first teacher of Rembrandt) and 16 pictures presumably created by Adriaen Jansz. van Witvelt (approx.. 1581-1638). The book played a role in the Tulip mania, the oldest known speculative bubble in world history.
In the late 16th century the first tulip arrived in the Netherlands from the Middle East. Almost immediately the tulip became a status symbol, avidly collected by the happy few. The tulip bulb was virtually priceless, in 1637 the target price for a single bulb was 3000 guilders (comparable to 31,000 Euros in 2008). Against a background of plague and war, speculation around tulip bulbs expanded enormously. People sold their possessions in order to get tulip bulbs. Speculators were called florists. In February 1637 the market collapsed and panic broke out. The unfortunate traders who could whistle for their money sought help from the government. Local authorities established committees to bring the parties together, but a structural solution was never found.
All pictures are available digitally. Click below for pictures and / or browse through the book:

The pictures

1. Cover, register and handwritten additions nn. Cover I-L. Left Page I-R. Register tulips II-L. Register tulips/other flowers II-R. Register other flowers 2-R. [carnation] 3-L. [carnation] nn. Handwritten additions - last page 2. Tulips 3. Switser 4. Paragon Van der Poel 5. Sent 6. Branden Burger 7. Admiral Coornhert 8. Viceroy 9. La Tour 10. Spinnecop 11. Wit en purper Jeroen 12. zonder naam 13. Brabanson 14. Parel 15. zonder naam (tekening) 16. Jan Symonsz 17. Admiral de Franse 18. Nieuwenburger 19. Somerschoon 20. Admiral Rotgans 21. Semper Augustus 22. Tulp int hart 23. Tulp Olinda 24. zonder naam 25. Blyenburger 26. Terlong [Tourlongh] 27. Petter 28. Tournay van Ryckaert 29. [Admiral] Gouda 30. zonder naam 31. zonder naam 32. Borger 32a. Laproch van Coornhert 33. [Admiral] Van der Eyck 34. [Admiral] Van der Eyck 35. Missing 36. zonder naam 37. Viceroy 38. zonder naam 39. zonder naam 40. zonder naam 41. [Admiral Catelyn] 42. zonder naam 43. Tulipa Candida 44. zonder naam 45. zonder naam 46. Lack Honsbeet 47. d'Admiral Coornhardt 48. Gemarmerde [Admiral] Lyfkens 49. De Hoer 50. Admiral Catelyn 51. Admiral De Man 52. Admiral Van der Eyck 53. de groote Pronckert 54. de cleyne Pronckert 55. de gemeente Burgemeester 56. de vice Admirael Tol 57. Admirael Tol 58. Admirael Tol 59. Admirael Gouda 60. zonder naam 61. zonder naam 62. zonder naam 63. zonder naam 64. zonder naam 65. zonder naam 66. zonder naam 67. zonder naam 68. zonder naam 69. [Gevleugelde Coornhert] 70. zonder naam 71. zonder naam 72. zonder naam 73. zonder naam 74. zonder naam 75. zonder naam 76. zonder naam 77. zonder naam nn. zonder naam 3. Other flowers 77. [Mezaraion] 78-L. Helleborus niger 78-R. Helleboraster 79-L. Helleborus niger 79-R. Hepatica 80-L. Aconitum / Leucoium 80-R. Leucoium 81-L. Primula veris 81-R. Primula veris 82-L. Anemone 82-R. Anemone 83-L. Anemone 83-R. Helleborus 84-L. Anemone 84-R. Petasites 85-L. Peonia 85-R. [Crocus>] 86-L. Hyacinthus 86-R. Lilium 87-L. [Crocus] 87-R. Hyacinthus 88-L. [Viola] 88-R. Pulmonaria 89-L. [Aristolochia] 89-R. Iris/Crocus 90-L. Aristolochia 90-R. Pseudo Narcissus 91-L. Aristolochia 91-R. Narcissus 92-L. [Narcissus] 92-R. Ranunculus 93-L. Ranunculus 93-R. Chelidonium 94-L. Unnamed flowers 94-R. Cornus 95-L. Phalangium 95-R. Missing [?] 96-L. Althea fruticans 96-R. [Chama] 97-L. Condrilla 97-R. Auricula 98-L. Auricula 98-R. Merveilles de Peru 99-L. [Anemone] 99-R. [Peone] 100-L. [Galanthus] 100-R. Bloemglaeskens 101. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 1 102. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 2 103. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 3 104. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 4 105. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 5 106. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 6 107. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 7 108. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 8 109. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 9 110. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 10 111. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 11 112. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 12 113. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 13 114. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 14 115. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 15 116. Adriaen van Witvelt nr. 16 4. Loose pages nn. 2 Tulips nn. 3 Tulips nn. Red and pink carnations


More about the Tulip Book

The book belongs to the Special Collections of the NEHA (no 254). The acquisition probably dates back to 1927. The acquisition also led to the creation of the "Boekenfonds" (Book fund). With notes from the 20th century at the front "[..] - Kildale - 8464 - Drawn by a Dutch artist anno 1630"; two loose sheets from 1630 were purchased by the NEHA Book Fund, 1929; origin of third sheet unknown.

See also: The Tulip Book by P. Cos in the collection of Wageningen University

26 January 2015