Sunday, October 23, 2011

Carry it with you

The Tassen Museum, or the Museum of Bags and Purses, may now formally reside in a 17th-century canal house built for the mayor of Amsterdam, but for a short while a few pieces from its collection were on view at the Meesterlijk/Woonbeurs fair.

What began as the private collection of the late antiques dealer Hendrikje Ivo, ultimately became a family-run museum, and what is now the largest public collection of its type. Building on Ivo's foundation, the museum continues to acquire bags of all ages and styles, and its now 4,000-strong collection spans five centuries.

In ten photos, here's a quick look at nearly 200 years of handbag design:

Velvet handbag decorated with cut steel
France, circa 1820
Beaded purse with silver clasp
H. Fliringa, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, 1843

Mauchline ware handbag with transfer-printed images of Fontainebleau
Scotland, 1880s

Leather opera bag fitted with opera glasses, a notebook, a pencil, and a folding fan
England, circa 1906

Gold leather evening bag with silk embroidery and semi-precious stones
France, 1920s
Brocade clutch
Mayer, France, 1925

Plastic handbag with lace decoration
United States, 1950s

Handbag embroidered in petit point
Austria, circa 1950-70

Evening bag printed with Cartier's Tutti Frutti  jewelry designs from the 1920s
Cartier, France, 1980s

Bourgeois Teardrop handbag with shells, crystals and satin
Cora Jacobs, Philippines, 2008

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