market bubble

April 30, 2023  •  3 Comments

I heard a story some time ago about a stock market bubble in the 1600s (1636-1637) is the date given by multiple sources) about tulip speculation, and wondered, as I continued to photograph lovely yellow tulips, if it was true.  According to Investopedia, it was indeed the case that "speculation drove the value of tulip bulbs to extremes.  At the market's peak, the rarest tulip bulbs traded for six times the average person's annual salary."  "At the height of the bubble, tulips sold for approximately 10,000 guilders, equal to the value of a mansion on the Amsterdam Grand Canal."  At the time, the most expensive tulips were the Semper Augustus - a beauty of cream and burgundy-red flowing stripes - and the Viceroy, which was red mixed with yellow striations, according to The Garden of Eden blog.  Investopedia gave a bit of a disclaimer by indicating that the amount being paid could have been greatly exaggerated, but there is documentation of the wealthy paying exorbitant prices to place them in their gardens. However, by the end of 1637, due to any number of things that apply to finances and the stock market yet today, including leverage, the tulip bubble burst in dramatic fashion.  Another cautionary tale.  Today, bulbs are amazingly inexpensive for the beauty they impart.  Which is why I continue to photograph them, even the solid yellow ones in their plainness.  Sometimes, the single color allows a photographer to get close and define the bowls and petals, and appreciate nature's touch. Both images were shot at around 2 p.m, and, courtesy of variable cloud cover,  it was possible to capture two different moods. 

Flowers - tulip 2 2023 2Flowers - tulip 2 2023 2

Flowers - tulip 3 2023 3Flowers - tulip 3 2023 3       

Like every person who has taken their phone or camera out to capture snow on patio furniture, after the recent, wonderful snowfall, I made my way outside, camera in hand, as the sun was beginning to melt the snow in the late morning light.

Flowers - tulip and snow 2023 1Flowers - tulip and snow 2023 1

Flowers - tulip and snow 2023 3Flowers - tulip and snow 2023 3

As the tulips declare "Happy May Day", I thank Barbara F. R., Terry T., Catherine S., Jean & Sam, Steve, Bill P., and Larry & Carol for your comments on last week's blog!  I like to imagine all of you out and about with your cameras/phones this week, making photographic magic happen!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©


Dianne James(non-registered)
Once again, beautiful photography and a story I had never heard, about the price of Tulips in the 1600s. Wow.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
What a fascinating story about the Tulip Bubble of the 1600s. I had no idea. Sorry I'm tardy. I think I tore my rotator cuff Saturday and have been chasing a doctor who will see me before late June. I'm a one-armed bandit.

These are luscious images of Holland's own tulip. I like the tight shots because they show the roundness and volume of the flower and also reveal the linen-like texture of the petals. always I favor the selections that are fresh with dew.

A lovely set, indeed.
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