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Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam - The Red Light District Amsterdam Guide - discover the secrets!
This is the book you should read before you visit the Red Light District!

Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam

Date: 3. jul 2018.

The Museum of Bags and Purses (Tassenmuseum Hendrijke) is situated in the beautiful canal house in the center of Amsterdam. The name of the museum might sound silly but in fact displays a world-class collection of a seemingly everyday article. It is one of the only three world museums specializing in this field and it has the world’s largest collection. The museum is featuring the development of bags and purses from the middle ages to the present day. The majority of visitors are of course the ladies but the most valuable exhibit is the 16th-century men’s goat-skin belt pouch with iron caps.

The idea for the museum was born because of one single handbag. This particular bag had turned Hendrikje and Heinz Ivo into passionate collectors and soon after that they’ve become the connoisseur of handbags. She was collecting all kinds of small antiques and curiosities and was also the antique dealers. The couple bought this particular bag in a small English village. It was a leather handbag dating from 1820’s with tortoise shell cover plates. Hendrikje was charmed by the object, without having the commercial idea behind it. Her interest in discovering the history of the bag triggered a passion for collecting handbags. Soon collecting bags turned into a serious business and not before long she had a collection of 3000 bags and had decided to show the part of the collection to the public.

At first the museum existed in two rooms of a villa in Amstelveen, their private facilities. Their daughter Sigrid Ivo the art historian had developed and supported the informative content, which also contributed significantly to the museum’s success. The museum was open in 1996 and had existed in Amstelveen for another 10 years. The collection was gradually growing bigger as well as the number of visitors and it outgrew their private residence. The former 17th-century mayor’s residence at the Amsterdam’s most prestigious canal Herengracht was renovated and furnished exclusively for the museum. The museum was moved to a new location in 2007.

The Museum of Bags and Purses has a large collection of over 5000 handbags, pouches, suitcases, purses and matching accessories. It is showing the history of the handbag in Western culture from the late middle ages until the present day, including the work of contemporary designers. The earliest handbags in the museum\\\'s collection are typically small, used to carry coins, keys and sewing kits. Such bags were carried, by both men and women, under clothing to avoid drawing the attention of thieves. The development of pants with pockets for men, and the change from billowing skirts to more form-fitting dresses led to handbags becoming an item for women, often with elaborate adornment. Besides the permanent collection, the museum regularly organizes high-profile thematic exhibitions which present the highlights of the museum’s own collection as well as unique items on loan from other museums and private collections. The exciting new work by contemporary international bag designers is shown in periodic expositions on the ground floor.

A wonderful high tea, served in our stylish 17th and 18th century Period Rooms or the Museum Restaurant, with delicious sandwiches, pies, English scones, cake and chocolates, adds the finishing touch to your visit to the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam.