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The collection


The highlights from our collection
  • Leather bag with tortoiseshell cover plate, Germany, 1820-1830

    Hendrikje Ivo's long-term love affair with the bag, began with a purchase from an English country village antique shop. This tortoiseshell plate bag is inlaid with mother-of-pearl and signalled the beginning of her now, world-famous collection.

  • Goat’s leather bag with iron clasp, France, 16th century

    Originally, bags were useful consumer articles, for both men and women, because the clothing of the period had no inside pockets. As a status symbol for an aristocratic gentleman, this buckle bag with its 18 secret compartments was worn attached to his belt.

  • Evening bag, Gianni Versace Couture, Italy, 1997

    At the 1997 première of the film Evita, Madonna carried this textile evening bag. Her dress and shoes for this occasion created from the same material.


  • Bridal bag of sablé beads, France, 18th century

    An exceptional series of 18th century bags, pouches and letter cases used sablé (French for sand-like) glass beads as small as 0.5 and 0.6 mm. 

  • Snake leather bag with ivory plate, Germany, 1920-1930

    Hendrikje Ivo’s favourite bag is a snake leather bag with a cut ivory plate with the image of Eve plucking the apple. 

  • Evening bag, "Cupcake'', adorned with crystals, Judith Leiber, USA, 2007

    This cupcake-shaped bag is completely covered with Swarovski crystals. It became immensely popular thanks to a similar bag featured in the film Sex and the City.

  • Beaded bag with giraffe image, France, ca. 1827

    The first giraffe in France, Zarafa, was shipped to Marseille in 1826 - a gift from the Egyptian viceroy to the French king Charles X (1757-1836). During her six-week jaunt to Paris, Zarafa's entourage of two Egyptian caretakers and 100 milk cows attracted immense crowds. After her arrival in Paris, she became the highpoint of the season.

  • Leather clutch 'Normandie', France, 1935

    First-class passengers received this clutch on the maiden voyage of the Normandie, the most luxurious cruise ship of the time which sailed from Le Havre via Southampton to New York.

  • Silk bridal purse with portrait, Limoges, France, 1725

    This purse is part of a series of bridal purses that were made between 1690 and 1760 in Limoges, France. The portraits of King Louis XV and his bride, the Polish princess Maria Leszczynska, are fashioned from porcelain, enamelled on a copper plate, for which Limoges is famous. 

  • Letter case with love poem and miniature, France, 1806

    The French miniature painter, Favorin Lerebours, painted this young woman's portrait. The leather and silk letter case containing her portrait and an embroidered love poem may have been presented to her husband as a remembrance for their long periods of separation.

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The collection

The museum shows the history of the Western ladies bag from the late Middle Ages to present day. The collection tells stories of social developments and styles in the applied arts and fashion through the centuries.

Timeline Highlights from the collection