Historical Returns | Financial Bubbles

Historical Gallery

All of the images in this gallery come from the historical collections of Baker Library at Harvard Business School. They are some of the many artifacts in the library that bring the historic events of the South Sea Bubble to life.

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Emblematical Print of the South Sea

An Emblematic Print on the South Sea

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Emblematical Print of the South Sea, designed by William Hogarth and engraved by Thomas Cook, [London]: Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, August 1, 1809. Bleichroeder Collection CD gb 10. You may view an earlier issue of this print.

In this satirical image by William Hogarth, a goat sits atop the human wheel of fortune in the center of the print, with a sign asking "Who'l Ride" just below. On the left a winged devil with a scythe throws chunks of Fortune's body to a greedy crowd. On the right, the monument reads "This monument was erected in memory of the destruction of the city by the South Sea in 1720," an alteration of the inscription on the monument in memory of the London fire, which reads "Erected in memory of the destruction of the City by the Great Fire in 1666." In the lower right-hand corner, Trade lies dead.