Handbag Museum Amsterdam/Netherlands
I have said it before: there is no object under the sun someone or other will not collect. I find museums which result from a private collection much more interesting than the ‘biggies’ like the Louvre or the British Museum, although I won’t leave them out either. But those small, quite private museums combine fabulious or peculiar objects with an insight of the personality of the respective collector which makes them so attractive.
I had set my sights on the Nachttopfmuseum (Chamber pot Museum) in Munich, but when I finally made it there, I was too late. It does no longer exist, the collection has been auctioned off and antique chamber pots are no spread all over the globe.
Being a fashionista, Amsterdam’s Handbag Museum was an enticing alternative.
It all began some 30 years ago, when an antique dealer from Amsterdam, a lady by the name of Hedrikje Ivo fell in love with a vintage purse from 1820 and bought it. A fascination began which resulted in a collection of 3000 bags and purses. Not being selfish, Mrs. Ivo decided to make part of her vast collection accessible to the public and opened two rooms in a villa in Amstelveen.
Since 2007, the collection is housed in a marvelous house in Amsterdam’s prestigious Herengracht 537 which was built in 1664. Apart from the fixed exhibits there are changing collections and additions from other collectors. The house itself is worth a visit. It’s like being admitted to a very elegant and big private home with period furniture, painted ceilings and potted palms. You can relax in the pretty garden, the museum café and browse in the museum shop.
The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Admission is EUROS 8.50 per adult. The proper name in Dutch is: Tassenmuseum Hendrikje.
Photographs from museum’s official website