The Tulip by Jemima Haddock

TULIPS by LISA VERENA PAPE
TULIPS by LISA VERENA PAPE

TULIPS by LISA VERENA PAPE

TULIPS by LISA VERENA PAPE

The tulip has an exciting history, from its humble origins as a wildflower in the temperate climes of the Central Asian steppes, to its cultivation by the Turkish conquerors of Persia and thence to royal palace gardens in Constantinople. There followed a rapturous reception in Europe, trailing economic chaos in its wake, veneration by generations of artists and hybridising by creative botanists. The cultivated tulip is the basis of lucrative commercial enterprise, creating thousands of acres of colourful fields in Holland and elsewhere, spawning dedicated tourism and festivals.

 

The Turks first cultivated the tulip in about 1000AD. It soon became the favoured flower of Ottoman emperors, especially of Suleiman the Magnificent, conqueror, reformer and poet, who turned the tulip into a form of currency, through a tithe tax imposed on his subjects. The flower grew in profusion in fabulous palace gardens and was protected on pain of exile from being bought or sold outside Constantinople. The word tulip comes from the Turkish for turban resembling, as it does, the outline of the traditional headdress.

The tulip has an exciting history, from its humble origins as a wildflower in the temperate climes of the Central Asian steppes, to its cultivation by the Turkish conquerors of Persia and thence to royal palace gardens in Constantinople. There followed a rapturous reception in Europe, trailing economic chaos in its wake, veneration by generations of artists and hybridising by creative botanists. The cultivated tulip is the basis of lucrative commercial enterprise, creating thousands of acres of colourful fields in Holland and elsewhere, spawning dedicated tourism and festivals.

 

The Turks first cultivated the tulip in about 1000AD. It soon became the favoured flower of Ottoman emperors, especially of Suleiman the Magnificent, conqueror, reformer and poet, who turned the tulip into a form of currency, through a tithe tax imposed on his subjects.

 

The flower grew in profusion in fabulous palace gardens and was protected on pain of exile from being bought or sold outside Constantinople. The word tulip comes from the Turkish for turban resembling, as it does, the outline of the traditional headdress.

TULIPS by KIER IN SIGHT

TULIPS by KIER IN SIGHT

TULIPS by ZOE SCHAEFFER

TULIPS by ZOE SCHAEFFER

TULIPS by CHRISTINA POP

TULIPS by CHRISTINA POP

TULIPS by KIER IN SIGHT

TULIPS by KIER IN SIGHT

TULIPS by ZOE SCHAEFFER

TULIPS by ZOE SCHAEFFER

TULIPS by CHRISTINA POP

TULIPS by CHRISTINA POP

In the late 16th century Carolus Clusius, a Viennese biologist, was appointed Director of the Botanical Gardens in Leiden. Ogier Ghiselain de Busbecq, a friend of Clusius’, was a Flemish nobleman and at the time, the Hapsburg Ambassador to Constantinople. De Busbecq wrote to his friend of the beautiful flowers he saw in that city and sent him some bulbs. The interest and admiration grew to a frenzy in Europe, especially in Holland, crescendoing to ‘Tulipomania’, where between 1636 and 1637, a bulb could fetch a higher price than a house or more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled artisan. In the 17th century, tulips became the 4th leading export from the Netherlands after gin, herrings and cheese.

 

Inevitably, there followed a crash, but interest and admiration persisted, and a global commerce developed around the cultivation of the tulip, which to this day is most associated with Holland. Tourism developed to enjoy the colourful fields from late March to early May and Amsterdam counts among its many famous visitor attractions, The Tulip Museum, which Fox & Chave is proud to supply with silk scarves, featuring this beloved flower.

In the late 16th century Carolus Clusius, a Viennese biologist, was appointed Director of the Botanical Gardens in Leiden. Ogier Ghiselain de Busbecq, a friend of Clusius’, was a Flemish nobleman and at the time, the Hapsburg Ambassador to Constantinople. De Busbecq wrote to his friend of the beautiful flowers he saw in that city and sent him some bulbs. The interest and admiration grew to a frenzy in Europe, especially in Holland, crescendoing to ‘Tulipomania’, where between 1636 and 1637, a bulb could fetch a higher price than a house or more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled artisan. In the 17th century, tulips became the 4th leading export from the Netherlands after gin, herrings and cheese.

 

Inevitably, there followed a crash, but interest and admiration persisted, and a global commerce developed around the cultivation of the tulip, which to this day is most associated with Holland. Tourism developed to enjoy the colourful fields from late March to early May and Amsterdam counts among its many famous visitor attractions, The Tulip Museum, which Fox & Chave is proud to supply with silk scarves, featuring this beloved flower.

VARIOUS TULIP SILKS by FOX & CHAVE

VARIOUS TULIP SILKS by FOX & CHAVE

 

VARIOUS TULIP SILKS by FOX & CHAVE

VARIOUS TULIP SILKS by FOX & CHAVE

 

Hybridization has created different styles and colours including the famous purple tulip. Interestingly, some of the prettiest features of tulips (broken colour, frilly petals) were in fact, the result of disease, although botanists have since created stable, disease-free, versions that we are able to enjoy today.

 

The tulip has inspired poets from Omar Khayyam in the 11th century, and artists through history. Fox & Chave designs have embraced tulips through centuries of art, from Islamic tiles and textiles to 18th century botanical illustrations, luscious Flemish still-life paintings, including works by Jan van Kessel and Ambrosius Bosschaert. We have featured the decorative art-nouveau tulip patterns of the Arts & Crafts movement, especially those of William Morris, along with stylised interpretations by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Monet’s light-infused, flame-coloured Tulips in a vase painted in 1885 has translated beautifully on to chiffon silk.

 

The next time you give or receive a bunch of tulips, full of innocence and freshness, think of their thrilling history and their extraordinary effect on society.

Hybridization has created different styles and colours including the famous purple tulip. Interestingly, some of the prettiest features of tulips (broken colour, frilly petals) were in fact, the result of disease, although botanists have since created stable, disease-free, versions that we are able to enjoy today.

 

The tulip has inspired poets from Omar Khayyam in the 11th century, and artists through history. Fox & Chave designs have embraced tulips through centuries of art, from Islamic tiles and textiles to 18th century botanical illustrations, luscious Flemish still-life paintings, including works by Jan van Kessel and Ambrosius Bosschaert. We have featured the decorative art-nouveau tulip patterns of the Arts & Crafts movement, especially those of William Morris, along with stylised interpretations by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Monet’s light-infused, flame-coloured Tulips in a vase painted in 1885 has translated beautifully on to chiffon silk.

 

The next time you give or receive a bunch of tulips, full of innocence and freshness, think of their thrilling history and their extraordinary effect on society.


Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published