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Coloured print satirizing the South Sea Bubble, ca. 1720

De vervallen actionisten hersteld, door den triompheerden Arlequin. [The ruined share-holders restored by the triumphant Harlequin].
[Amsterdam, ca. 1720]. Bifolium (31.5 x 40 cm). Engraved print, with title on top and engraved verse in Dutch below, in 4 columns. The illustration coloured by hand. In passepartout (40 x 50 cm).
€ 250
Satirical print from Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid (ca. 1720), a famous collection of texts and plates satirizing the Englishman John Law, his Mississippi Company, and the international land and trading speculation in worthless shares of the South Sea Bubble of 1719-1720, which resulted in an international scandal. The speculation began in Paris, London and Hamburg, spreading to the Netherlands in the summer of 1720.
The print shows the investors and dealers during the crisis having their losses restored by Harlequin. Harlequin rides in a horse-drawn carriage distributing documents to a crowd of men, with Mercury at right, pointing towards a pile of goods. In the background is a town named "Viaanen" on the Lek River with teams of horses drawing wagons. Vianen was a "free city" during the Middle Ages and anyone who could pay the toll to enter the city would be granted sanctuary from creditors.
Edges strengthened, but covered by passepartout, otherwise in very good condition.
Muller, Historieplaten 3565.
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Art & architecture  >  Caricature, Costume & Satire | Illustrated Works & Print Series
History, law & philosophy  >  Economics, Numismatiscs & Trade