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Daniel Good Rare Books and Engravings

1720 Pieter van den Berge - Etching - Allegory of The SOUTH SEA BUBBLE - Emblematic, Social Science

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The South Sea Bubble has been called: the world’s first financial crash, the world’s first Ponzi scheme, speculation mania and a disastrous example of what can happen when people fall prey to ‘group think’. That it was a catastrophic financial crash is in no doubt and that some of the greatest thinkers at the time succumbed to it, including Isaac Newton himself, is also irrefutable. Estimates vary but Newton reportedly lost as much as £40 million of today’s money in the scheme.

The tree of shares withering and dying

"Het uitgeteerde en stervende Actie boomtje"

Etching by Pieter van den Berge, (c 1720)

Leaf size: ca. 18,5 x 11,5 cm

Plate : ca. 15,5 x 10 cm

Pieter van den Berge was a draughtsman, engraver and mezzotinter. He worked in Amsterdam mainly after Gérard de Lairesse (q.v.), also on geographical and political subjects. Also publisher of his own plates.