The Netherlands may be known for her tulips, clogs and museums but not a lot of people know that the country is home to one of the world’s most popular museums dedicated to purses and handbags. The Tassenmusem or better known as Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam is where the history of bags and purses come together with the beauty and colour of bags to give visitors an extraordinary insight into the world and history of fashion – both vintage and modern.
From Personal Passion to a Unique Museum
The museum of purses and bags all started with Hendrikje and Heinz Ivo. Hendrikje Ivo was always a collector of all kinds of small antiques and curiosities. The decision to amass a wonderful collection of bags started the day Heinz and Hendrikje Ivo found a leather handbag from 1820 with turtle cover plates in a hamlet in England.
The museum of bags and purses presents visitors with a chance to marvel at a beautiful collection of bags in a 17th-century canal house. Each bag or purse tells its own unique story. The bags and purses on display provide insight into the world of fashion, art, purse-making techniques and habits surrounding the use of bags and purses in a certain period of time. Don’t forget to grab a bit in the museum’s cosy restaurant and to check out the trendy bags and purses shop for some unique and fashionable souvenirs.
In the beautiful 17th-century canal house, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Canal district Amsterdam, visitors discover the development of bags and purses from the Middle Ages to the present day. Nowhere else can you find so many special and fashionable bags together. From unique historical pieces to timeless classics from world-famous brands and up-and-coming designers. There is also a chance for visitors to design their own bags, watch a video of the history of bags and purses and how important a role they have played in the development of fashion in Europe and other parts of the world.
Atmospheric 17th and 18th-Century Rooms
The museum is home to two beautiful period rooms with historic ceiling paintings from the 17th and 18th century. Here you can enjoy a high tea or a special lunch with friends and family. All in the style of the Golden Age. Do book in advance. (see contacts for museum’s telephone number).
The museum is one of the coziest atmospheres for a party and their beautiful 17th and 18th-century style rooms can be booked for an extra special wedding, anniversary, private dinner, or private High Tea with family and/or friends. There are two historical style rooms. The small Bicker room from the 17th century is a beautiful, living memory of the Golden Age. The large, 18th-century Graeffzaal radiates the atmosphere of an elegant palace and is perfect for larger occasions.
One of the best things about the museum is its High Tea sessions. There they serve different types of tea and delicacies such as friandises, scones with clotted cream and jam, sandwiches and a warm, savory snack. The museum of bags and purses is a must for every tourist interested in fashion. The museum helps you discover the rich history of this everyday object.