The Clothes Basket

Book Title: Het leerzaam huisraad : vertoond in vyftig konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Clothes Basket

Scripture Reference:

Description: Under the supervision of their mistress, servants attend to the mountain of clothing in this substantial Dutch home, where much effort was devoted to the washing of garments and provision of different ones for their respective occasions. Such plenty is in tension with the admonition of Jesus to his followers to share their surplus of garments with the poor (Luke 3:11), and at the end God will make it clear how little he cares for such finery. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649–1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem and wrote the accompanying poem.

Motto: Who has made the division in this manner?

Do not defile your Basket with Linen,
That bears the name of life’s necessity,
Which the Eye of the Poor sees as such,
So that his heart is not distressed;
When thou dost count large quantities,
Of those things in thy house,
While his situation is such,
That he doesn’t have a change of clothes.
It’s true, we have heard the Proverb,
(A Swan needs his feathers;
As the Sparrow needs his),
To dismiss these accusations:
But; He who, has formed both,
Has created the Large and the Small,
And when thy body is so very different,
Then it depends on thee, to make use of that difference,
Thus thou hast so much more to do:
But if thou dost think that thy body is thy business,
With respect to size and shape,
Comfort, Appearance, and pleasure;
Consider whether the coin of thy heart,
Is important, before such Eyes
Which know everything precisely,
And have never been deceived by anyone.
So that, when life comes to an end,
The choice doesn’t lead to a bad outcome.

(Translation by Josephine V. Brown, with editorial assistance from William G. Stryker).

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.