Speculation and Credit

The calamitous effects of unlucky speculation in the stock market and lottery is a recurring theme in the following prints. "Before and after" depictions of shareholders were a particular favorite—admonishing the viewer that fortunes made from speculation can be lost overnight.

50 Le Speculateur

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Etching and engraving by Robert Brichet, after Joseph Franz von Goez (1754–1815). [Augsburg] 1784.
23.5 x 16.2 cmCE f1 x
Plate twenty-eight from Exercises d'Imagination de Différents Caractères et Formes Humaines . . . Augsburg, 1784–85, of which plates one to eighty-four were engraved by Brichet, and plates eighty-five to one hundred by Goez. A once well-dressed man is reduced to rags by bad speculation.
51 Le Financier

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Etching and engraving by Robert Brichet, after Joseph Franz von Goez (1754–1815). Augsburg, [1784].
22.3 x 15.7 cmCA g2 x
Plate five from Exercises d'Imagination . . . (see 50). Depiction of a corpulent man demanding payment for a bill.
52 [ A Lucky and Unlucky Speculator ]

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Etching and engraving (part stipple) by unidentified artist; "Rentier fecit." Paris, Chez les Marchands des nouveautés, [late 18th century].
26.5 x 32.5 cmCE f11 xxx
Below image: "Hélas! de vous à moi tel est la différence!!! C'est incroyable. . ."
53 La Hausse. In Luck. En Alza

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Hand-colored lithograph by Régnier and Bettanier, after Philippe Jacques Linder. Paris, Dusacq & Cie., [last half of 19th century].
29.8 x 22 cmCD f1 xxx
Pictured is an elegantly dressed woman riding in a coach with her footman.
54 La Baisse. Out of Luck. En Baja

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Hand-colored lithograph by Régnier and Bettanier, after Philippe Jacques Linder. Paris, Dusacq & Cie. [last half of 19th century].
30 x 22.4 cmCD f22 xxx
The same woman as in 53, wearing a black dress, crouching under an umbrella and running through the rain.
55 [ Allegory on the Death of Credit ]

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Engraving by unknown artist. [Germany? Early 18th century].
27.5 x 18 cmCD g1 x
A funeral procession carries a coffin toward a grave, in front of which are a man and woman weeping. Translation of the German caption below image: Great mourning and sorrow, grief and lamentation, The best helper is now laid to rest. Who do you think it is? Monsieur Credit is dead, He who so often rescued you and me from distress.
56 Crédit est Mort

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Hand-colored etching by unknown artist. Paris, Chez Genty, [early 19th century].
26 x 34.5 cmCD f5 xx
A similar allegory to 55, with the caption: "Les mauvais payeurs l'ont tué." Pictured are an artist, a musician, and a soldier, who have killed another man, lying at their feet. This image inspired many provincial copies, notably at Épinal.
57 Die Wind Kauffer, werden mit Wind bezahlt, und finden sich auf die letzst betrogen

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Etching and engraving by unknown artist. [n.p., ca. 1720].
29.7 x 19.3 cmCD g19 xx
A rare German version of one of the seventy-four plates usually found in the popular Dutch satirical volume, Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid (The Great Mirror of Folly). It commemorates the period of speculative mania which swept France, England, and Holland in the year 1720. Pictured here is the inner court of the old Amsterdam exchange (see 66), where distraught shareholders are calling out, "I am ruined; Who will loan me money? I am still living on hope; I cannot sleep," etc. The term "Wind-Handel" was often used satirically to connote the flimsiness of the stocks being traded.
58 Une Assemblée d'Actionnaires

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Hand-colored lithograph, signed "Lavrate." [France, 19th century].
28 x 37.5 cmCD f8 xxx
A meeting of shareholders, all of whom have animal bodies and human heads. The officers in charge have animal heads and human bodies.
59 J'ai Perdu!

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Engraving by Antoin Joseph Chollet (b. 1793), after Adolphe Roehn (1780–1867). Paris, Chez Chaillou-Potrelle; Chez Roehn, 1824.
56 x 42.8 cmCE f3 xxx
A poor, pregnant woman with three small children holds a losing lottery ticket in her hand.
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