The accessories collection of the Rijksmuseum, c. 6.000 items, is rich and varied: hats, shoes and boots, bags and purses, fans, umbrella’s and parasols, gloves, glasses, shawls, ruffs and collars, cuffs and sleeves, ribbons, buttons, canes and whips and much more. Most of them were ordered, bought or used by the Dutch upper-classes. They had the means to buy the best and the most beautiful items and had sufficient space in their houses to carefully store and keep them for generations to come. A good example is the pair of wedding gloves of the rich Amsterdam merchant’s daughter Johanna le Maire from c. 1622. She was depicted with these gloves in her hand. Both portrait and gloves are part of the museum’s collection. The white ruffs well-known from 17th-century portraits have nearly all been lost. They were mostly used until they were completely worn. The only remaining example in the Netherlands can be found in the collection of the Rijksmuseum.
The online exhibition Accessorize features 250 masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum’s accessories collection.