c. 1720. Edition: First Edition, Binding: Contemporary full calf with raised bands in 7 compartments. Text on 2, gilt centerpieces and decorative borders in compartments., Notes: Text is in Dutch. “This great Theatre of Folly, representing the origin, progress, and downfall of the South Sea Bubble in France, England, and Holland, is an exceedingly curious collection of emblematical plates and caricatures on the scheme of J. Law and the Mississippi Company and the imitations of it in Holland, with their fatal results. Not a few of the scenes here depicted have been reproduced in the New York Exchange. The engravings, which illustrate the rise and fall of the great speculation, are full of humor; many of them are exceedingly ludicrous, and some very obscene. They are finely engraved on copper, and are accompanied with full descriptions in prose and poetry. So much offence was given to the English and French by this book that medals were struck by them in ridicule of the Dutch, which was perhaps the beginning of the hostility which long existed in the minds of the English against the latter. The number of the plates in copies varies from sixty to seventy-four.”
This first edition of the most elaborate publication was inspired by the economic events of 1720, primarily satirizing Dutch manifestations of the speculative mania that led to the Mississippi Bubble in France [a financial scheme that shook the French economy to its core and instigated the use of paper money in the country; engineered by Scottish economic theorist, John Law] and the South Sea Bubble in England.” (Sabin)
, Size: Folio (394x235mm). , Illustration: Illustrated with red and black title, 74 engraved plates, including many double-page or folding; 70 of 74 plates as listed in Koninck's rarely preserved index of plates of early editions; plates 26, 29, 39 and 71 of this list are not included but instead four other plates, one of these a map entitled “Louisiana by the River Mississippi”., References: Alden European Americana 720/114; Cole, The Great Mirror of Folly, pages 23-35; Sabin Bibliotheca Americana 28932; Goldsmith 5879; Howes G 442; Muller, America 1503, Pages: Title, bl., 25, list of towns; 1-52; 1-14; detached insert of four letters (195x156mm): 1st: title, bl., 1-10; 2nd: title, bl., 1-10; 3rd: title, bl., 1-10; 4th: title, bl., 1-9; 15-26, 29-31, bl., 1-8. , Category: Book Caricatures; Book Europe Benelux; Book Europe France; Book Plate Books General;. Altogether a very good and attractive copy of this important caricature platebook.
. Item #B5707