The performance of a play representing the Dutch share price boom of 1720: Bombario blows bubbles before Princess Quinquenpoix. Etching, 1720.

Part of:
Groote tafereel der dwaasheid.
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About this work


The following is based on the British Museum online catalogue. On the right of the stage, Princess Quinquenpoix sits on her throne being entertained by Bombario (shown from behind as a hunchback) who is blowing bubbles. Impoverished citizens rush to catch the bubbles, ignoring moneybags lying in the front of the stage. On the top of the stage there is a wreath with inscription 'Roskam sub rosa 2e deel' (The currycomb in secret, part 2), with a pair of currycombs at the sides. Top left, a candle that is burnt out; top right a candle that is newly lit. In front of the stage there is a cartouche with inscription 'Sileni Alcibiadis', referring to Erasmus's book of that title (1515, The Silenuses of Alcibiades); the Silenuses are beings which are ridiculous and unattractive on the outside but worthy and admirable on the inside. According to Muller, loc. cit., 'Silenus Alcibiades' is the title of a poem by J. Cats first published in 1619. Foreground left and right, a pair of allegorical figures representing deceptive appearances


[Amsterdam] : [publisher not identified], [1720?]

Physical description

1 print : etching, with engraving ; platemark 15.4 x 18.7 cm


Roskam sub rosa 2e deel. Sileni Alcibiadis. Schyn bedriegt. ... Philadelphus Translation of lettering: "Appearance is deceptive". Below the image, Dutch verses printed in letterpress in two columns, by Philadelphus (G. Tyssens)


'Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid', Amsterdam, 1720, is a collection of literary and pictorial satires relating to the Dutch speculation bubble of 1720, which occurred simultaneously with the South Sea bubble and the Mississippi bubble involving John Law. This print is one of the many in that collection: see A.H. Cole, op. cit.

References note

Frederik Muller, De nederlandsche geschiedenis in platen. Beredeneerde beschrijving van nederlandsche historieplaten, zinneprenten en historische kaarten, Amsterdam 1863, part 2, no. 3563 (28)
Not in: British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. 2, London 1954
Arthur H. Cole, The great mirror of folly (Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid). An economic-bibliographical study, Boston 1949, no. 28


Wellcome Collection 812285i


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