a tulip that pleased their fancies

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It is one of the strangest economic stories in European history - an early economic bubble. In 17th century, the price of tulip bulbs raised extremely in extraordinary levels. Merchants made fortunes in one night and then lost everything, as tulips price suddenly hit rock bottom. It's still a mystery why tulips, and no other flower, became an objective of such a mania. Yet, this beautiful Asian flower was always related to high values, like beauty, wealth, even holiness, due to its unique appearance, and immediately became a status symbol.

Monsieur de Blainville describes this phenomenon in his book Travels through Holland (London, 1743). "They were possess
ed with such a Rage or, to give it its proper Name, such an Itching for their Flowers, as to give often three thousand Crowns for a Tulip that pleased their Fancies; a Disease that ruined several rich Families".