The Museum of Bags and Purses (Tassenmuseum Hendrikje) in Amsterdam had the world’s largest collection of Western bags dating from the 16th century right up to the designer bags of the present day. Unfortunately it was decided to permanently close down the museum in 2020 due to the impact of the ‘coronavirus’ lockdown.
It is located on the Herengracht canal in the centre of the city not far from the Rembrandtplein.
This private museum was set up by antiques dealer Hendrijke Ivo to house her unique and comprehensive collection of nearly 4,000 bags. The museum originally opened in Amstelveen in 1996 and proved to be successful. In 2007 it moved to the larger Herengracht canal house which was built in 1664.
Inside the museum the exhibits are beautifully lit and presented, with explanations in both Dutch and English. You get to see how the bag has developed over hundreds of years in terms of both design and materials used (including a variety of animal skins).
You will also see purses, pouches, wallets, travel cases and other items that were carried around personally.
The museum also has a temporary exhibition rooms, an elegant cafe and a handbag shop.
Obviously this museum has more natural appeal to women – making it a good stop on a girls day out.
Note, the Bags and Purses Museum at Herengracht 573 in Amsterdam has closed down permanently.