The Museum's Accession Register

Recent Acquisitions

The museum is offered around 100 objects or object groups each year. On average we accept items from around 75% of those offers and in 2016 we accessioned somewhere in the region of 450 individual objects into the collection.

All offers go through a process of assessment and investigation before a decision is made about whether to keep them or not - more information about this process can be found here.

All new acquisitions are added to the Accession Register as well as to our computerised database.

This page will highlight some of the most interesting recent acquisitions.

More recently acquired objects can be seen in the Museum in the Recent Acquisitions case, located in the Collectors Room.

HOWEVER this quarter we take a break from our usual display. Here you will see not recently acquired but RECENTLY REVEALED.


 A Globetrotting Revolver

In 2015 nationally renowned expert, Brian Godwin, volunteered his time to fully catalogue and document our weapons collection. Since then he has conducted further research which has greatly improved our understanding of the collection. He has conducted conservation work on the Le Mat revolver, which is now on display.

The Le Mat revolver was primarily used by the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War of 1861-65.

Our revolver was made by Charles Frederic Girard and Son of Paris between 1864-5.

The gun was sent to London, where it was tested and proved to be safe. Following this testing the gun was inspected by Lieutenant William H. Murdaugh of the Confederate Navy. From him the gun was delivered to Confederate agents and shipped to Bermuda, where it was transferred to a fast boat that could avoid the naval blockade imposed by the Northern States.

What happened next remains a mystery, as does how it ended up in the hands of John Stuart Daniels - one of the Museum’s early Trustees and the donor of the piece to our collections. What we can say is that today, it is an extremely rare piece.

3628 - Detail of the inscription on the LeMat revolver


1955./29 - Detail of the gunsmith's inscription on the shotgun

Shotgun from a Local Gunsmith

This sawn off shotgun dates from 1840. Notably the right and left hand percussion locks are engraved with game birds and signed Thos. Fletcher, Gloucester.

Thomas Fletcher was the founder of Fletchers of Gloucester. In 1829 he is recorded as having gunsmiths premises in Westgate Street, Gloucester. After Thomas' death in 1858, his widow Elizabeth carried on the business until her own death in 1890. Their son Frederick then took over until 1909, when he, too, was succeeded by his widow, Rose.

By this time, gun production had virtually ceased and orders were being put out to Birmingham gunsmiths. Claude Fletcher took over at his mother's death in 1921; his own son, Anthony, joined the firm in 1952 and became a director in 1957.

The Westgate Street premises were left in 1931 in favour of a site in The Oxbode, Kings Square, and an additional Gloucester shop was acquired in 1960 in the Grosvenor House development in Station Road. However by the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, financial difficulties beset the trade, and the business went into liquidation in 1978.


William Palling's Blunderbuss

This blunderbuss was made in England between 1730 -1740. It is an attractive piece in walnut and brass, with engravings on the butt plate, a decorative escutcheon and side plate.

This blunderbuss is part of a collection of guns originally belonging to William Palling of Brownshill. The Pallings were successful cloth makers whose ancestors had been clothiers in and around Painswick, since the 16th century. After his father died in 1732, William Palling rebuilt the family house at Brownshill, into a grand mansion of Georgian splendour. He practised the sports of hunting and shooting, as befitted a country gentleman. It seems that around this time William then began to acquire the many sporting guns that would form his collection, as most of the pieces are dated between 1720 and 1750.

William Palling instructed in his will of 1753 that the guns should remain in his family. He lived until 1769 but never married and his estate (including the guns) was left to his brother Edward. Edward also did not marry and on his death his entire estate and the guns were left to his nephew, William Caruthers. Brownshill subsequently passed through marriage to the Wathen family in the 19th century. The guns remained with his descendents until they came into the Museum’s collection in 1987.


1987.358- Decorative detail on Palling's blunderbuss


2015.55 The Dragon Brooch

The Dragon Brooch

This rare silver brooch set with garnets dates from the 13th century and was found by a metal detectorist working in the Stroud District in 2014.

On either side of the garnets the design features dragons whose mouths graps both ends of the pin.

The brooch has been passed through the processes of the UK Treasure Act and was purchased for the collection by the Friends of Museum in the Park in 2015.

The brooch is now on display in 'And Then Came People' - our archaeology themed room.


Did you know?

We aim to change the objects on display in our Recent Acquisitions case every 3 months. Why not pop in to the museum to see what's new?


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