Collection Van Dam-Canton

About the collection

The collection Van Dam-Canton consists of nearly 400 objects, ranging from individual components such as beads and dangles to splendid complete pieces. They have been lovingly collected by Gerrit van Dam and Hans Canton over the course of decades in Tunisia.

The collection shows how jewellery evolved over time, as it holds both older and newer items. The collection is also illustrative of how jewellery, as portable possession, traveled large distances: among the many Tunisian items are pieces from neighbouring countries such as rare beard combs from Libya, but also ornaments from Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. An important part of the collection is the selection of hand-shaped pendants, which illustrates the wide variety in forms and materials across the Maghreb. The collection also holds necklace elements, belt ornaments and belts, bracelets, clothing pins, varying chain elements, head ornaments, pendants and several items of clothing as well as combs.

We are currently working to photograph each piece in detail and to provide accurate descriptions and cultural background information as well as references.