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Het Groote Tafereel Der Dwaasheid - The Great Mirror of Folly

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Author: Anonymous

Publisher: Isaac Stockmans?

Year Printed: 1721

Edition: Second

Printing: Unknown

Condition: Good

eBook: See detailed plates with title translations - Description - PDF of a similar edition from Yale - Article on this book.  MarketUpdate did a nice translation of several prints.

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Pages: 243

Height: 15.8 inches

Width: 9.8 inches

Notes:

Other copies of this book: Harvard Study - Yale Library - Harvard Library - U of Wisconsin - Flickr - British Museum - Bibliodyssey - South Sea Bubble - Library of Congress - Economists, Crises and Cartoons - Yale Conference: The Great Mirror of Folly: Finance, Culture, and the Bubbles - The South Sea Company, 1711-1855 - Wall Street Curmudgeon - John Law: Financial genius or charlatan? - DUTCH MIRROR OF FOLLY, Windhandel 1720 - Published by various connoisseurs, in order to taunt this despicable and deceiving trade, by which in this year, several families and persons of high and low standing were ruined, and depraved of their resources, and the real trade halted, in France, England and the Netherlands.

 

A PLAY FROM THE GREAT MIRROR OF FOLLY

"DOLHUIS" [HOUSE OF FOOLS]

 

TRANSLATION  …

                                MISSION OF THE HOUSE OF FOOLS

                                             

                                Here, we give shelter to  a group of fools

                                who … while hoping to make big profits and

                                tempted by the deceptive word  RICH …

                                betrayed themselves miserably . This is how they

                               lost their minds and wealth.

 

 

                                                           THE  HOUSE  OF  FOOLS

 

                                                          FOR  THE  WIND – TRADERS 

 

                                                  “  COMEDY  “

 

 

                     ACTORS .

 

Japikvaer , Father of the HOUSE  OF  FOOLS

Valerius & Eelhart  , they come to check out the HOUSE  OF  FOOLS

Leander , friend of Valerius and Eelhart

Windvang , project developer

 

Crazy wind – traders :

Wingraag , speculator

Grypal, broker

Kortryk

Raasbol

Windbuil

Ms. Bubbles

Losbol

Kryspyn , servant of Windbuil

Katryn , maid of Ms. Bubbles

Judas , a jew

Fripon , a Waloon

and finally …

Flippyn , the servant in the HOUSE  OF  FOOLS

 

 

“  The stage portrays the HOUSE  OF  FOOLS  with the small rooms for the wind traders in a circle “

 

 

                                           FIRST  SCENE

 

Japikvaer :  Hah ! Hah! These wind traders have a crazy life . It still makes me laugh how driven they were . They were taking and offering premiums for South and for West . There was such a racket and commotion in the dining hall that one could neither hear nor see . And then there was trouble … I thought for sure that they were going to hit each other . Therefore , I decided to lock up each and everyone of them in order to put a stop to all of that.

But wait , there is a knock on the door . Flippyn ! Flippyn ! Open the door and let’s see what new boarder will be there.

 

                                      SECOND   SCENE

 

             “  Japikvaer , Valerius , Eelhart , Flippyn “

 

Valerius :  Good day my friend . Are you the Father of this HOUSE ?

Japikvaer : Yes … gentlemen , can I help you ?

Eelhart : We’d like to check it out . When we read the mission statement for this HOUSE  OF  FOOLS  for wind traders at the entrance of the building , we decided to go inside and take a look in order to satisfy our curiosity . But first , I’d like to ask you to explain in more detail your charter.

Japikvaer : Our mission is very clear and self explanatory . Here we provide housing for people whose mental problems could easily turn into violent craziness if one wouldn’t take care of them. All of them are wind traders who grossly underestimated their imagined profits. And while they were dreaming of their ships coming in with tons of gold and millions  … they lost their minds and went crazy.

Valerius : But my friend , do you have many boarders like that?

Jaspikaer : So many my friend that I can’t even begin to tell you .  Yes, I think that this house will become too small if that wind trade lasts much longer. As a precaution , several houses here behind our property have been purchased and are currently rented out , So , if need be this HOUSE  OF  FOOLS  could be expanded.  However , honestly , I believe that this house will remain the largest house of this kind in the whole country.                               

Eelhart : How is this possible?  I confess that this is beyond me . How can people , who are born with a sound mind , be swept up by such a wind trade … and putting themselves in a position not only to loose their money but their honor as well .

Japikvaer : Yes but everyone wanted to be rich. The word “ RICH “ twinkled in everyone’s eye with the same strong intensity . As they almost reached their goal , they were deceived .

Valerius : But hey , tell me who is sitting there in that room with the green door ?

Japikvaer : That is by far the biggest idiot of them all . He is the project developer . All day long ,  he comes up with ideas to start companies for trading , navigation , discounting , loans and insurance , etc. But , oh mercy ! It’s so complicated that you can’t find head nor tail.

The day before yesterday , he came up with a plan how to purchase salted fish. And yesterday , he thought of a company to sail around the entire world. Everyday , he comes up with something new. I ask myself … how such a fool can come up with all these ideas.

I’ll let them come out if you gentlemen like to see him and the others.

Valerius : Well , if it’s not dangerous … go ahead.

Japikvaer : There is no reason in the least to be afraid . They won’t harm anybody … because otherwise , Id know better .

Eelhart : But before you proceed , who sits there next to the project developer ?

Jakipvaer : That is Wingraag , a well known speculator who got so many premiums for the South and for the West that it finally got to his head and he “ lost it “ when the buyers wanted their shares back.  His broker , Slikop , advised him to use the “ Hendrik Frederik “ statue [ a law that prohibited trading of speculative shares ] but he could not bring himself to doing this because that would stigmatise his credit and honor. This made him a nervous wreck and drove him out of his mind. And if people wouldn’t have brought him here in time , he would have been a complete lost cause by now.

And here you see a person who has lost everything he had gotten from the wind trade . And there is a young lady and her maid.

Valerius : A young lady ?

Jakipvaer : Yes a young lady ;  You seem to be surprised .

Valerius : Well , somehow I think that it’s unlikely that she was a wind trader.

Jakipvaer : Anyway Sir , it’s true and I can assure you that besides her , there are a hundred or even more young ladies who are deeply involved with the wind trade . And they dream at night that no shares will be sold.

Next to her sits her admirer with his servant who are overwhelmed as well  , that’s to say that the wind trade has taken hold of them.

It’s funny to hear how these guys are making out  … they are talking about one of the many bubble trades.

If you like , I’ll let let all four of them out in a minute.

And here is the broker Grypal who traded as long as he could before checking himself into thIS HOUSE  OF  FOOLS . And here you have a Jew and next to him a Waloon .

OK , this is about it , because it’s impossible for me to mention them all by name . Here, we have some fourty boarders , all of whom are mental cases because of the wind trade.

Even though , they are lucky to be here because I believe that we can bring them back to their senses … or at least that’s what I hope.

But enough already ! Flippyn ! Flippyn ! Unlock the rooms of Mr. Windbuil and Ms. Bubbles

Flippyn : As you wish Japikvaer .

 

 

                                                                              THIRD   SCENE .

 

                                                   ‘’ Japikvaer , Valerius, Eelhart, Windbuil, Ms. Bubbles , Krispyn , Katryn , Flippyn

 

 

Japikvaer : Look … there are the four sweethearts !

Windbuil : Miss , have you made some trades since we’ve spoken last ?

Ms. Bubbles : Well , why wouldn’t I my Windbuil ! The wind trade is my life !!! That’s when I took real revenge against a jew who had deceived me with a bunch of Edam shares . But listen , it’s a secret and I have to whisper it in your ear.

Krispyn: Well my sweet lamb , ! My princess of the Cabbage & Carrot company ! My dearest Kate !

Katryn : Well ,  my knight of Jenever and Pig trades ! My best buddy . I thought that you left for England again in your little boat … Zandvoorder Pinky.

Krispyn : I did go that way but after two miles into the sea the voyage was already finished and we came back. But by the way , shall we get married?

Listen , I’ll build a carriage for you . And I’ll see to it that that the portrait of Mr. Law [ who knows all about the wind trade ]  will be painted on the rear of the carriage by the best artists in the country . And hey , I am also thinking of decorating the doors … I’ll have one side decorated with  “ Alkmaar Cabbage “ and the other side with a bunch of “ Hoorn Carrots “. In the front there will be a “ Gouda Gaaper “ and next to him a rat with a stork.

Then , we still have to add a pig, a calf, a jenever bottle , salted herring as well as other decorations ; all of which will be equally unusual but they all have to mean something. Do you get the idea, yes ?

Katryn : Yes, sure.

Krispyn : And that’s how we’ll ride through the Quincampoix street in Holland . Every wind traded wants to speculate and we’ll get our first chance when we get married. Both the bride and groom throw candy to the boys . However , I plan to go into another direction and fetch a pocket full shares of Medenblik.

Wouldn’t that be funny , Hah ! Hah ! Thinking about it would make me so happy that I could wet my pants.

That’s how every boy becomes a wind trader thus perpetuating this great and honest trade … because it would be a pitty if the wind trade would come to an end.

Katryn: But I haven’t heard yet how much paper wealth you’ll bring to the marriage.

Krispyn: Well , let me tell you …

First of all ten shares of Zwol , six of Naarden and eight of Muiden which I have  still in a steel box because they are as good as money. Then I have also ten shares of Purmerent and about ten , twenty of Medenblik and a little over a hundred other shares. In addition , I’ve also five shares of Rotterdam but these are kept separate because they are special  since Rotterdam is the best . Anyway , let me hear you wealth as well.

Katryn : OK , what I have to offer isn’t so little either . Listen , I have eight calf heads and twenty pig bladders , fourty kaapers and sixteen vaartgravers as well as ten salted herrings , three bunches of “ Hoorn Carrots “ and one “ Alkmaar Cabbage “. Also , I have seven storks .

Krispyn : That’sa lot !

Katryn : And then , I’ve also uh … well , I can’t remember all that I have but my paper wealth is second to none. Yes there you see my Ms Bubbles with your Mister Windbuil who have made a fortune with shares of South and shares of West , shares of Ramskoolbroek and Cheels and bank shares … but I think that my shares are the most valuable.

Krispyn : You mean the South ? I’ll order a gold ring for you which will be made of real gold , the kind you won’t find in the South or Barbados. That gold will have a different color from today’s gold which looks so pale . What do you think Katryn … isn’t that special for us ?  Also, I’ll have made a couple of earrings made like two cabbages which were sown especially in Alkmaar .

Windbuil : Unbelievable Miss !  I admire your great intellect . I have to admit that in this whole wind trade , there is no other young lady in the whole country who is quicker than you .

Katryn to Krispyn , pointing to Valerius and Eelhart : Do you see these gentlemen ?

Krispyn : Yes , I do.

Katryn : Ask them if they want to buy some of your Medenblik shares.

Krispyn : Well , I am surprised Kate , that you don’t see it . These gentlemen don’t have the mindset  of a wind trader because if they were they wouldn’t stand there as if they were hit by lightening.  No , these folks live another life , they are not in this rat race. A wind trader who takes his work to heart doesn’t sit still for a moment . And in case he has a spare moment , he’s either thinking of Barbados or the unknown South… while cooking up something. And do you think that these sedate stiff guys want to be such share traders ?

Katryn : What do I know , it could be. But Krispyn quiet … it looks like Japikvaer beckoned us .

Japikvaer : Hey , overthere … shut up with your chatter and gabble or I’ll hit you with my whip.

Krispyn : What do you want , father? Were you asking about Schiedam shares ?

Japikvaer : You rascal !  If you don’t shut up … Go Flippyn , let all the others get out. But wait there is a knock on the door … open the door and close it again securely so that we don’t loose any of our boarders . Well gentlemen , were you amused by their crazy talk ?

Eelhart : Oh yes my friend . As much as I feel sorry for their sad situation , I couldn’t help but laugh at times.

 

 

                                 FOURTH  SCENE

 

                     “ Japikvaer , Valerius, Eelhart , Leander , Losbol , Windbuil , Ms. Bubbles , Krispyn , Katryn , Flippyn “

 

Leander : This man , Japikvaer , is under your trusted care and please do all you can to bring him back to his senses .

Japikvaer : I’ll do my best , Sir Leander . But that seems to be an unusual guy. I think that I know that face ; isn’t it  Losbol ?

Leander : Yes .

Japikvaer : Well what a coincidence ! Wasn’t he plenty busy enough doing petty crimes … for him to get very involved with the wind trade as well ?

Losbol : Edam! Dordrecht ! Hoorn ! Enkhuizen ! Monnikendam ! Middelburg ! Vlaardingen ! Ter Veer ! Zwol ! Schiedam ! Vlissingen ! Purmerent !

Windbuil : The South ! The West !

Ms. Bubbles : The Bank! Ramskoolbroek ! Cheels !

Krispyn : Rotterdam ! Hasselt ! Alkmaar !

Katryn : Woerden ! Delft ! Steenwyk ! den Haag !

Japikvaer : Hey ! Hey !  This is not Quincampoix … who knows what’s going on over there ?  I am telling you guys to be quiet or else somebody will come and get you.

Losbol : Who would I have to fear . I am the most important wind trader known in all of Holland .  I am the king of all the bubble companies ! I am the man who made about five million with the wind trade. And father , if you’re nice to me , I’ll give you ten or twenty ducats . It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s five or six tons of gold.

Japikvaer : Now , I tell you again … be quiet or else …

Leander : I beg you , please leave him alone , he is not used to this life in here … eventually , he’ll get used to it. But Eelhart and Valerius , would you guys want to board here ? I hope you won’t.

Valerius : But Mr. Leander , it hurts us that you think about us that way.

Leander : Sir , pardon me . I was thinking this way because only crazy wind traders live here.

Eelhart : We were only interested in checking out this HOUSE  OF  FOOLS  which our good friend here allowed us to do. But Sir L eander what do you think is going on with the wind trade

?

Leander : It’s very bad Sir ; the South which got up to 1100 and now is less than two which took everyone by surprise. The number of bankruptcies are horrendous and nearly countless.  The value of the Frederik Hendrik coin as well as the trip to Vianen increased by more than five hundred guilders. And as far as the smaller bubble companies are concerned … almost all of them are gone. They already have capitulated … some returned the deposits , some extended the periods for payments which could last as long as the end of the world. I don’t believe that people will be foolish enough to keep putting up more money. So there you are , all the fancy houses of directors which were wanted so much by the wind traders , lay in ruin and the entire imagined wealth is gone. And come to think of it , I don’t understand how an intelligent person could come to the conclusion that they can make more money with fraudulent bubble companies than private companies. They simply hope to extort and deceive you as they buy and sell shares.

Valerius : But Sir , you make it sound that this trading market is abusive and fraudulent. But let’s stop here for a minute and before we get more confused. Good friend , let me ask you to  show us the other boarders as well.

Japikvaer : As you wish , gentlemen ,      it will be done. Flippyn , do what I’ve just asked you.

Flippyn : OK father.

Japikvaer : Now , my gentlemen , I believe that our project developer will honor us once more with a new project .

 

“  PARADE  OF  WIND  TRADERS  ENTER   AND  YELL  :  Utrecht ! Edam ! Embden ! Ter Gou  !  We want to sell our shares !

 

Japikvaer : There they come , step out of the way a little.

 

 

                                                         FIFTH  SCENE

 

     “  Japikvaer , Valerius, Eelhart , Leander , Losbol , Windbuil , Ms. Bubbles , Krispyn , Katryn , Raasbol , Grypal , Judas , Fripon , Flippyn , parade of WIND TRADERS “

 

Japikvaer : Control yourselves . Control yourselves ,  people . Control yourselves  ! You guys have to be quiet and don’t start trouble.

Losbol : Who wants to buy Zwol?

Windbuil : Who wants to buy Bank shares ?

Ms. Bubbles : Who wants Cheels or the South ?

Judas : The West !

Krispyn : Who buys cabbage ? That’s something different.

Katryn to Krispyn : How much do you offer for Kampen ?

Krispyn : Not a nickel

Fripon : Who asks for a premium on anything they buy or sell ?

 

      “  PARADE  OF  WIND  TRADERS  “   …  :  long live the wind trade  !

 

Katryn : A dime for a bunch of Hoorn shares !

Raasbol : If you poke fun at us , I’ll slap you in the face.

Japikvaer : Raasbol ! Raasbol ! Don’t talk too much to me about slapping or I’ll come and just shut your mouth.

Windbuil : Who wants to buy Utrecht with the planned canal ?

Grypal : Easy gentlemen , give me a chance to hear me out .  Never in my life , have I seen such a bad trading market … nobody is trading and no profits are made whatsoever.

Japikvaer : Well Mr. Windvang , didn’t you come up with a new project ?

Windvang : Yes Japikvaer , and it’s the best I’ve ever come up with .  I have studied it quite a bit and concluded that it will be feasible. My reputation and well-fare will depend on it .

Oh Japikvaer , it’s a great , great project !

Japikvaer ; Well , just let’s hear it so that we can judge whether it’s as great as you think it is.

Windvang : As you please , father. I value your opinion and after I’ve presented the project you won’t think anymore that I am crazy.  But first , I ask people tobe quiet.

Japikvaer : Quiet ! Quiet overthere … everybody be quiet and pay attention . What’s the matter with all you people ? I say be quiet !!! Don’t you see that Mr. Windvang wants to talk to you about a new project.

Windvang reads : We shall establish a company for trading and navigation on waters where no ships have ever set sail. We’ll discover land where nobody has ever been before . A new world , gentlemen! In short , it’s the MOON !  The moon ! The moon ! We’ll sail to this land which according to undisputable and convincing reports from the most learned astrologers  is populated. What do you think about this my gentlemen – WIND TRADERS ! Where in this whole wide world is such a concept known ?

It’s important to be first ! There we’ll sell our products with 600% profit or possibly even more. And the cargo that we’ll take back from this moon – world to our shores won’t be any less profitable thus doubling our profits. Yes, we promise to deliver at least 800 % annually. This is a lot better than a lousy 4 to 5 % profit ! This will make you very rich . And oh , all other companies might as well give up. Also, we’re planning to design a different type of ship which will allow us to sail without incurring headwinds. We don’t have to worry about cross winds or changing tides either. In short gentlemen , these ships have wings on both sides which are kept in motion constantly by an engine that can be operated easily by two or three men. This way we can soar through the air with our winged ships … just like , unless I am totally mistaken ,  Dedalus could fly through the clouds long ago.  Yes, it’s all straightforward and it is so obvious that even the most simple minded person can understand it . This discovery is much better than just putting a man on the moon … that’s small stuff.

Raasbol : Yes, that company , I believe , will use a cage from which it will set free three or four Egyptian doves.

Kortryk : Why ?

Raasbol : For express service in case they deemed that to be necessary … or else wings had to be sown on the little Visscherspinkjes boats.

Japikvaer : Raasbol ,you are going to get it if you don’t keep quiet .

Windvang : There you are gentlemen , nothing can beat this invention.We don’t have to remove these ever growing sand dunes , nor do we have to dig a canal longer than four hours of travel ; No ! No !  It’s the air ! The air ! It will always be there when you are ready to sail far away. Also, we don’t have to rely on compasses nor do we have to worry about East and West because we always keep our eye on the Moon. And over there is the pole star upon which the success of the Moon Company depends.  Futhermore , we’ll issue loans and insurance policies as well as discounts to anyone who comes to us . But we’ll also make sure that we’ll have plenty of cash on hand so that claims , even as high as four tons of gold , can be fully reimbursed . Isn’t that great ! Now gentlemen , let’s start signing up right now.

 

    PARADE  OF  WIND  TRADERS  :  Long live the project developer who came up with such a great project !

 

[ All of them sign the forms and hand them to Windvang ]

 

Fripon : Mister , can we hope to still buy shares in the Company ?

Windvang : What kind of question is that ? Are you crazy or stupid. You are not in Hoorn here.

Ms. Bubbles : Well Mr. Windbuil did you buy any ?

Windbuil : I’ve signed up for one hundred and sixty thousand guilders for which I hope to get a premium.

Ms. Bubbles : I am OK with ninety thousand .

Judas : Come on guys , who wants to make a higher bid ?

Grypal : I do jew , how much do you want ?

Judas : ninety percent .

Grypal : Sure , forget it … I’ll give you sixty.

Judas : No … eighty .

Grypal : Seventy … you can take it or leave it and I’ll look for someone else.

Judas : No , it’s a deal for sure.

Kortryk : Well Mr. Windbuil , don’t you want to make a bid as well ?

Windbuil : Yes , since you ask … I bid one hundred and twenty .

Kortryk : That’s way too much .

Windbuil : Well in that case you can take a walk.

Wingraag : Who wants to offer a premium of up to three hundred percent to be paid this year?

Raasbol : I do Wingraag … how much ?

Raasbol : Twenty.

Wingraag : This sale is done. There is a written agreement which I’ll get and sign.

Krispyn : Medenblik ! Monnikendam ! Weesp !

Raasbol : Hell , let’s not bother with little stuff .

Ms. Bubbles : How much do you want for the shares of the new “ Moon Company “ ?

Raasbol : One hundred and fifty.

Ms. Bubbles : One hundred and thirty .

Raasbol : No way.

Ms. Bubbles : I offered already a lot , Sir, but OK , I’ll give you one hundred and fourty.

Raasbol : Well because it’s you Ms. Bubbles , I’ll agree to the sale ; however I’d never sell the shares for that price to anybody else !

Fripon : Anybody wants to sell ?

Raasbol : Not me

Kortryk : Nor do I

Fripon : And you ?

Krispyn : Go Waloon , go ! I intend to carefully save all my shares… they yield eight hundred percent annually !

Fripon : Yes , but that could change .

Krispyn : Not to worry senior . Both of us have heard this said by Mr. “ Project Developer “ and he would never , ever lie !

Fripon says to Japikvaer : Do you want to sell ?

Japikvaer : Don’t you see who you are talking to Waloon ?! I wish a great deal of suffering upon he who started the wind trade because he has ruined many good families.

Fripon : Who wants to sell ? Who wants to sell ? Who ? Who ?

Katryn : I do , I do.

Fripon : You ? You?

Katryn : Yes , me , me , me my little Waloon . Come on , make a bid if you dare … now I want five hundred for my shares.

Fripon : She is crazy … who would have thought that . Doesn’t she know that I am very reasonable ?

Windbuil : I offer up to six hundred percent.

Losbol : I take it and I give you ten shares of Purmerent extra.

Windbuil : But what could I do with that junk ?

Krispyn : You can wipe the floor with them , that’s all they are good for.

Raasbol : Oh hell , I won’t be quiet any longer . The shares are yield six hundred percent and I want my shares now. Mr. Windvang , look here is the signed contract and you must deliver the shares to me .

Wingraag : Deliver the shares ? Are you out of your mind ?

Raasbol : Yes Sir , I can’t wait any longer . I made my fortune and now I am wealthier than the rich King Kresus ever was.

Wingraag : But I don’t have them …

Raasbol : Somehow , you’ll have to get them . I already paid you the premium and now you HAVE to pay me back.

Wingraag : Oh ! Oh ! I thought that the price would go down and that the premium would be pure profit. Oh , Oh … what to do now , what to do now ? I am totally ruined !

Grypal : Well , why don’t you use the statue of Frederik Hendrik

Raasbol : Forget about that Frederik Hendrik law … come on and give me the shares or else I’ll kill you. And I mean it Mister Project Developer !

Krispyn :

 

“  All the wind traders start fighting amongst themselves “

 

Japikvaer : Don’t you dare to start fighting . Go Flippyn chase all these crazy people back to their rooms and lock them up again immediately.  And put the new boarder in number eleven.

Flippon : OK

Japikvaer : And if they don’t obey , separate them by using your whip.

 

 

           “  Flippon push all the wind traders , while they are fighting , into their rooms “

 

 

                SIXTH  AND  LAST  SCENE .

 

      Japikvaer , Valerius , Eelhart , Leander

 

Japikvaer : Well gentlemen , what do you think about these fellows [ snaaken ]

Valerius : I’d think that people come here to get well. However, the project developer as crazy as he is with his Moon Project , is not helping at all because his idea of going to the moon in winged airships is as illusionary as the bubble companies …  which were created by wind only and made to disappear without any trace , by that same wind .

The wise and thoughtfull councils of our three most famous cities in Holland [ Haarlem , Leiden , Amsterdam ] have earned much fame and honor because they didn’t allow themselves to be swepted up by that damned wave of wind trading.; but instead they dared to fight against this terrible desease in the country. Therefore , they will forever live in glory.

Eelhart : Why are you laughing Mr. Leander ? Were you just thinking of something funny? If so , please share it with us.

Leander : I just remembered something funny that happened in Haarlem a while ago. I’ll be happy to share it with all of you because it’s so humorous. There was this  guy who , when he was at his friend’s house ,  received shares of Ter Veer valued at fifty thousand guilders which he had urgently ordered. His friends , who were there , began to laugh heartily and they suggested that he might as well give these shares to a beggar for a small coin. And they kept making more fun of him and his shares.  As he was ready to leave , he met a poor beggar at the Sparwouder gate and he wanted to give his shares for a small coin. Instead ,  the beggar thanked him and told him that he’d rather a little cash. As he went on his way he saw a jew to whom he again offered his shares of Ter Veer , valued at fifty thousand guilders … with or without a premium. But the jew offered only fifty guilders worth of shares of Naarden. I don’t know how it all ended ; it could be that he put them in the hunter’s bag.

Valerius : Well that’s an interesting story ; but let’s go because I am standing here a long time and I am getting tired. Do we owe you anything , friend , for showing us this House ?

Japikvaer : No gentlemen , but it’s up to you if you want to give something to my servant.

 THE  END         MDCCXX  ( 1720 )


FROM THE TITLE PAGE OF THE BOOK:

As long as the greedy person, 
Has money and goods,
The swindler will get his way,
Because the greedy and feeble-minded will always supply him.
[The Great Picture of Folly, 1720]

Individual Print Database - IFA Print Collection - Reflections from the Mirror of Folly - Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid and the Speculative Bubble of 1720 - Learning from Past Investment Manias - Wiki: Stock Market and the Dutch Republic - The South Sea Bubble

To translate sections of the original see Google translate. 

Galleries: Grosvenor Prints - Swaen - ILAB - bubble text - Old Master - Kunsthandel - PhilaPrintShop 

It is estimated that 300 books were published and one researcher has inspected 82 copies that exist today. The total number of copies that exist today is unknown.  A new book about the Tafereel is about to be released. Zoomable Images: Cover - Cards - Swaen Zoom - Deck of Cards 

The Great Mirror of Folly: Finance, Culture, and the Crash of 1720 (Yale Series in Economic and Financial History) by William N. Goetzmann (Editor) , Catherine Labio (Editor) , K. Geert Rouwenhorst Ph.D. (Editor) , Timothy Young (Editor) , Robert Shiller (Foreword) from amazon.com: "The world’s first global stock market bubble suddenly burst in 1720, destroying the dreams and fortunes of speculators in London, Paris, and Amsterdam virtually overnight. Their folly and misfortune inspired the publication of an extraordinary Dutch collection of satirical prints, plays, poetry, commentary, and financial prospectuses entitled Het groote Tafereel de Dwaasheid (The Great Mirror of Folly), a unique and lavish record of the financial crisis and its cultural dimensions." 
Expert on this book: Professor Frans De Bruyn

Quotes: Some plates are done by Bernard Picart - This is a great line from the end of the title page: Printed as a warning to those who come after, in the ill-fated year, for many fools and wise men. 1720.

An interdisciplinary symposium sponsored by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the International Center for Finance of Yale University.

The Great Mirror of Folly [Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid]
 is a compilation of texts and images that came out within months of the crashes that affected the financial markets of England, France, and the Dutch Republic in 1720. Texts include prospectuses for new equity issues, plays, poems, epistolary exchanges, moralistic sermons, journalistic accounts, and town edicts. Images include elaborate satirical prints, detailed allegories of finance and speculation, complex emblematic warnings of impending madness and penury, maps, and decks of cards.

This conference will bring together scholars from a number of different fields, including economics, history, art history, and literature to talk about this extraordinary volume, its context, and its aftermath. The three day conference includes presentations and breakout sessions for group discussions of individual prints and related works in a workshop setting.

The conference also includes a public plenary presentation by Professor Robert Shiller on the evening of Thursday, April 17 and a staged reading (in English) of Pieter Langendijks Arlequyn, Actionist (Arlequin, Stockbroker) on the evening of Friday, April 18.
 

The most puzzling aspects are how, why, when and by whom the book containing the above illustrations came into existence. 'Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid : vertoonende de opkomst, voortgang en ondergang der actie, bubbel en windnegotie, in Vrankryk, Engeland, en de Nederlanden, gepleegt in den jaare MDCCXX' has a title page that translates as:

'The Great Mirror of Folly, showing the rise, progress, and downfall of the bubble in stocks and windy speculation, especially in France, England and the Netherlands in the year 1720, being a collection of all the terms and proposals of the incorporated companies for insurance, navigation, trade, &c. in the Netherlands, both those of which have gone into actual operation and those which have been rejected by the legislatures in various provinces. With prints, comedies, and poems, published by various amateurs, scoffing at this terrible and deceitful trade, by which various families and persons of high and low condition were ruined in this year, and possessions lost, and honest trade stopped, not only in France and England but in the Netherlands.
As long as the avaricious
Own money and property,
The deceitful man gains his end,
For the miser and the fool will always feed him.
Printed as a warning to those who come after, in the ill-fated year, for many fools and wise men. 1720.'

Each particular issue of the book is said to be unique, cobbled together on demand so it appears, by an unknown Amsterdam printer and containing anywhere from 49 to 74 illustrations from the work of up to 56 different engravers. It seems astonishing that such a publication could be compiled in the few months following the financial collapse in September and be released in the same year. The inclusion of the date in the title may otherwise have been part of the compiler's desire to give immediacy to the sense of moral indignance they wished to convey, if, as has been supposed by some, that it was in fact first released after 1720. Many editions were published throughout the 18th century. This is one bibliographic record worth reading about (says he who usually shys away from the printing history) - in the extended 1949 essay by Arthur Harrison Cole: 'The Great Mirror of Folly ('Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid') an Economic-Bibliographical Study'.

Christie's 6-23-2011 $6k - 10-27-2010 $11,462 - 4-12-2012 $11,875 - 4-21-1997 $1,955 - Current Sale of the book - Alexandre Antique Prints

Images