The trade with colourful cut flowers represents a business worth annually about 40bn dollars. Almost four centuries ago, the Dutch Golden Age saw the brief emergence of a phenomenon known as “tulipmania” (1633–37). During this period the tulip, an ephemeral object without use value, became the subject of intense economic speculation and its—at times astronomical—prices were determined to a large degree by its colour. Colour Shift shows the shipping and handling floor of the world’s largest flower auction house in Aalsmeer, Holland, during the tulip season. The goods—continually moving between auction floor and shipping facilities—create an ever-changing palette of colour.