The widow of Staveren

Hans Bax

Gouda, Netherlands

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Artist's Description

Almost every summer we make a trip on the sailboat (flat bottom) of my brother. In the summer of 2005 we visited Stavoren, a small port in Friesland, Holland. We arrived at sunset.
Here stands a statue of the Widow of Staveren, about whom the following story is told:

The legend tells of a rich merchant widow in Stavoren who lived in a house with golden walls and silver floors. She had more ships than all the merchants of the city together and became richer by the day.

Despite its enormous wealth she was not happy, and wanted the most precious possession that could be found. So she sent a skipper to go out to get that.

He came home after a long search with a cargo of grain from Danzig that he seemed more valuable than gold. The woman didn’t see it as the most valuable that was.

Furious, she asked: “Which side did you receive the grain?”, “On the starboard side.”, “Throw it into the sea portside!”

A passerby who heard this, told her not to do so! Would she herself ever fell into the begging mode, then the grain would seem gold.
She took the gold ring from her finger and flung it, in a huge arch, into the sea. She added, “Nor those golden ring that I will ever look back, I would expire in the begging position.”

On one days one of her servants came to her with a fish, with her own golden ring in the stomach of the fish. From then turned her fate. Finally she ended in great poverty.

There are several other versions of this story. Many thanks to Ozcloggie

Camera: Kodak DX 6340 ZDC

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Artwork Comments

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