Why “tulipmania?” Especially now, when the snow is still blowing outside? Tulipmania is really a stock market story. And, yes, it is (almost!) spring.
Surrounded by all the folklore of any economist’s tale, the story of tulipmania is a fanciful tale for the fertile imaginations of the flower fancier. The year was 1637 and the hybrid in question was not named on current stock markets but the variety was “Semper Augustus”, a variegated burgundy and white tulip.
While the extent of the rise and fall of the tulip market varies by the teller, lore goes that this energetic bulb rose in price as high as any sublime commodity stock. Indeed, the beauty of this speculative bulb fetched 3,000 guilders at its peak (a well-to-do 17th century artisan made 150 guilders a year). However, soon after, the tulip market crashed utterly, spectacularly and the same bulbs brought only one-hundreth of their peak values.
To celebrate the lore of this humble tulip—and to celebrate the lore of impending spring—Zocalo presents Tulipmania, an appropriated celebration of the trumpetted, tradition-laden tulips. With reverence to the tulip traders, and with low prices to lure the investor in you, we invite you to celebrate with us. Tulips are brilliant for a short time…and the mania continues. Trade quickly.