Top of page

Photo, Print, Drawing Authentic Portrait of the Very Famous Mister Quinquenpoix. Véritable Portrait du tres fameux Seigneur messire Quinquenpoix

About this Item

Title

  • Authentic Portrait of the Very Famous Mister Quinquenpoix.

Other Title

  • Véritable Portrait du tres fameux Seigneur messire Quinquenpoix

Summary

  • This caricature portrait of "Messire Quinquenpoix" and the accompanying text satirize John Law, the Scottish-born financier responsible for the issuing of France's first paper money. Law convinced the regent, Philippe d'Orléans, that he could liquidate the French government's debt by a system of credit based on paper money. In 1716 Law established the Banque générale, which had the authority to issue notes. The following year he founded the Compagnie d'Occident (Company of the West), the capital for which was raised by the sale of 500-livre shares, payable only in government notes. The first shares were called "mothers," then, aided by the initial success, came the "daughters" and the "granddaughters." Using advertisements and public relations, in which he presented the Mississippi as a land of plenty, Law generated extraordinary enthusiasm for his scheme. In 1719, the Company of the West acquired several other overseas companies (including the Senegal, East Indies, and China companies) to form the Compagnie des Indes (Company of the Indies). The issuing of excessive quantities of bank notes weakened confidence, however, and Law's system collapsed. Law was ruined and fled to Brussels in December 1720. The moniker of "M. Quinquenpoix" is a reference to the street in Paris with a similar name, where the Company of the Indies had its offices. In the portrait, he holds a bag of air and his coronation is by a jester holding a crown of cardoons and peacock feathers. A shield on the left shows Icarus, whose fall to his death was caused by pride. The cauldron under the portrait is melting down coins and satyrs are throwing shares into the fire. The inscriptions in Dutch and Latin include: "Quinquenpoix sprinkler of joy" and "either Caesar or nothing." The caricature dates from 1721, and thus was highly topical at the time it was issued.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1721.

Headings

  • -  France
  • -  1721
  • -  Banks and banking
  • -  Caricatures and cartoons
  • -  Company of the Indies
  • -  Company of the West
  • -  Economics
  • -  Economists
  • -  France in America
  • -  Law, John, 1671-1729
  • -  Monsters
  • -  Portrait prints
  • -  Portraits
  • -  Satires (Visual works)

Notes

  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 etching ; 22 x 31.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of France.
  • -  Content in French and Dutch.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.

Medium

  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021670769

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Authentic Portrait of the Very Famous Mister Quinquenpoix. France, 1721. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2021670769/.

APA citation style:

(1721) Authentic Portrait of the Very Famous Mister Quinquenpoix. France, 1721. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2021670769/.

MLA citation style:

Authentic Portrait of the Very Famous Mister Quinquenpoix. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2021670769/>.