How did the tulip - a flower that originated in the Ottoman Empire - come to represent the Netherlands? The answer dates back to the 17th century and is the focus of the new Tulpomania exhibition in Haarlem's Frans Hals Museum.
Tulpomania (tulip mania), tulpenwoede (tulip rage), and bollengekte (bulb craze) are three ways to refer to the tulip speculation bubble that hit the Netherlands between 1634 and 1637.
It all started in 1594 with the first official Dutch flowering of a tulip in Leiden University's newly established Hortus Botanicus. As the popularity of the flower grew, professional growers began to pay more and more for rare varieties; the prices of 'common' bulbs soon began to follow.
At the height of the bubble, speculators sometimes paid more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman for a single bulb - they were literally worth their weight in gold.
Though the bubble burst rather abruptly in 1637, it left a lasting mark on the Netherlands - not only has the tulip become a symbol of the Dutch, it is represented throughout historical documents.
One of those documents is the 17th-century Tulpenboek (Tulip Book), filled with illustrations of the flowers responsible for tulip mania. Until now, the book has only sporadically been visible to the public - and then only under protective glass and open to a single pagespread - at the Frans Hals Museum.
Now, however, the book's 40 images have been digitised, allowing musum visitors to flip through the pages of this very old and fragile book for the first time and making it the highlight of the Tulpomania exhibition.