The museum’s oldest bag | Museum of Bags Amsterdam

The museum’s oldest bag

Goatskin bag with iron frame, France, 1500-1599
Hidden compartments

This bag was likely used by a merchant during the sixteenth century. It has two iron belt loops that would have enabled it to be worn at the waist for safekeeping.

Within the body of the bag are some eighteen separate compartments, presumably used to sort different currencies. Some of these pockets are concealed, and were probably intended to deter would-be thieves. Whilst bags were also worn at the shoulder and on the back, items the owners wished to keep the most secure were worn at the waist up until the introduction of integrated garment pockets in the eighteenth century.


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