The Tulip was originally a wild flower growing in the Central Asia and was first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1,000 AD.
In the beginning of the 17th century the tulips were starting to be used as a garden decoration beside the former medicinal purposes. It soon gained major popularity as a trading product, especially in Holland.
The interest for the flower was huge and bulbs were sold for unbelievably high prices. Botanists soon found ways of making it an even more decorative and tempting specimen. Hybrids and mutations of the flower were seen as rarities and a sign of high status. In the months of late 1636 to early 1637 there was a complete “Tulip mania” in the Netherlands. Some examples could cost more than an Amsterdam house at this time. Even ordinary men took part in the business. They saw how much money the upper class got in trading and thought that this was an easy way of getting lots of money at no risk. The bulbs were usually sold by weight while they were still in the ground. The trade with the un-sprouted flower came to be called “wind trade”.
The traders made fabulous amounts of money every month, and people started to sell their businesses, family homes, farm animals, furnishings and dowries to participate. The government could not do anything to stop it, the trade was all about access and demand. But finally the tulip did not appear to be quite so rare to justify such high prices. Over-supply led to lower prices and dealers went bankrupt and many people lost their savings because of the trade. This “Tulip Crash” made the government introduce special trading restrictions for the flower. It is said that the flower became so popular because of the bright colours, dramatic flames and frilly petals. To have tulips in one’s home was a way to impress, and when the wealth spread down the social ladder, so did the urge for tulips.
Wishing you a colourful day and thanx for commenting, always appreciated, M, (*_*)
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