I’m a bit obsessed by tulips at the moment, though not quite as crazy as people in Holland during the age of Tulip mania or Tulipomania when contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed. At the peak of tulip mania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.
One bit of lasting hardware from the craze is the Tulipiere, used to grow tulip bulbs indoors. They are typically constructed to accommodate one single bulb per spout with a larger common water reservoir base and were not designed as vases for a cut bloom, as is sometimes supposed, though they could also be used for this (and frankly I don’t see how you could get a bulb into many so-called tulipieres) – works for me anyway. If you’ve got a strange looking vase with lots of spouts you know what it is now.
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