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 Named Tulips - An Introduction to Tulips from Manuscript Catalogs of the 1630s

Table of Contents

This section contains an index to the Dutch manuscript tulip catalog sources from the first half of the 17th century. These sources are described in the section on Early Tulip Catalogs.

Image Sources

The manuscript sources of tulip illustrations are noted below, in sequence by date of origin, if known:

  • NEHA Tulip Book of 1630 -- a manuscript catalog owned by the Netherlands Economic History Archive. We link to the images on their website.
  • P. Cos Tulip Book of 1637 -- a manuscript catalog owned by Wageningen University. We link to the images on their website.
  • Great Tulip Book of 1640 -- a manuscript catalog owned by Norton Simon Museum. We link to the images on their website.
  • Sotheby’s Tulip Book (date unknown) -- images sold at auction by Sotheby’s, but provenance not yet determined. We link to the images on their website.

Tulip Name Headiang and Cross References

In this index, the tulips are arranged alphabetically by name. Because of the diversity of spellings and name variations, consolidating the same tulip under one name is somewhat subjective. We strive to provide cross references to the name under which a tulip will be found. Unnamed tulips are included in an Unnamed Tulips Index.

Notes on Weight and Price

The weight of each bulb is given in 'Aasen', an aas being 0,048 grams. For example, see the entry below for the P.Cos tulip Book entry: Admirael Van der Eyck Tulip illustration, which records a weight of ‘214 Aasen'. This means it weighed about 10.27 grams and would be approximately the size of a cocktail onion or a regular marble, a diameter of half an inch or less. (For comparison, four U.S. pennies weigh about 11 grams.)

We thank Ritzo Holtman of Meten en Wegen (Measuring and Weighing), the Dutch Society for Old Units of Measurement, for his help confirming the weight of "Aasen".

Prices are given in ‘f’ (florin), the Dutch guilder. The highest price recorded below for a single tulip bulb is f 4200 -- paid for the Viceroy Tulip. However, on a per-gram basis, the highest price was 430 florin per gram, which was paid for the Admirael van Engeland Tulip -- a total of f 700 for a 1.2 gram bulb. These were amazingly high prices. The amount paid for a single Viceroy Tulip bulb in 1637, based on a comperable rise in real estate prices over three hundred and eighty years, today would be approximately 2 to 3 million dollars.

The Surivors from Tulipmania

Zomerschoon (Soomerschoon) broken extinct Dutch tulip Lac van Rijn Tulip has survived since about 1620, and is now known as Lac van Rijn.

The Tulip Lists that follow include many of the spectacular tulips that were the object of Tulipmania. Of all the tulips illustrated in these lists, almost all are broken tulips. All these tulips now are extinct, with the exception of one broken tulip -- Zomerschoon (See image at left - click image for larger view), and the Single Early non-brokent tulip -- Lac van Rijn (See image at right - click image for larger view), . These two magnificant tulips still survive -- and are available today for a small fraction of the price paid for them during the 1630s.

Table of Contents

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