This autumn, Soulland collaborate with Contra.
Creating a T-Shirt that echoes the sentiments of Semper Augustus from the 17th century Dutch Tulip Mania to illustrate the point. Packaged with each t-shirt is a 12 piece sticker set, featuring graphics that further expand on the theme.
During the year 1637, wealthy Dutch were overcome with an infatuation for a very rare variation of the tulip. The coveted flowers were a virus stricken strain of flower that would “break” the pigment of the petals to create beautiful patterns streaked with reds, whites, yellows and violets.
The most revered of these tulips were owned by a single man, they were known as Semper Augustus. As interest grew, the price for these flowers (of which there was rumoured to be less than 12) spiralled out of control reaching a point that a single bulb would be sold for as much as 10,000 Gilders; enough to clothe and feed a Dutch family for half a lifetime. A price that far surpassed the value of gold, silver and diamonds at the time. With a perceived growth in value, entrepreneurs across the country rushed to join in on the trend with tulip bulbs being sold along with purchases of bulbs that were to be grown during the spring. There were reports of fights, robberies and all kinds of madness.
As if immediately after the boom had begun it was over; with the price of virus-effected tulips crashing to that of a normal flower within weeks. Overnight investors were left in a position where they had paid lifetimes worth of money for a flower that would be worthless by the time it had grown. These events would be referred to as Tulip Mania.
Much like the South Sea Bubble and Mississippi Company scheme these are some of the earliest occurrences of market boom and bust thanks to greed and the madness of men.