A tulip flower

The duch tulip bubble or tulip mania 1636-1637

Tulips were grown in the netherlands since 1593, they were a sought after luxury item. Tulips were rated by their beauty, so they were not priced by quantitative measure, similar to artworks today. Tulips with certain color combinations were seen as espicially worthful. The bulbs of good looking tulips were sold at high prices, because their offspring are likley to produce worthful tulips too.

The high demand and rising prices lead to speculation, tulips were sold before they had bloomed (future contract). And people sold tulips which they didnt posess, in speculation they could buy them for a better price in future (short selling). In 1636 tulip trade was also named as 'windhandel' (wind trade) because hardly any actual tulips were traded, but only contracts and promises with them.

The tulip price rose by over 1000% from 1636 to 1637, but collapsed abruptly in februray 1637.

Price Index for tulips 1636-1637