In 1885 the museum added some well known shells to its collection. The museum staff bought part of a famous French collection assembled by Monsieur Prevost from the dealer G B Sowerby. It included shells described by Frederick Price Marrat, a part-time assistant at Liverpool (now World) Museum who had described many species new to science in the 19th century. After the 1941 Blitz it was thought this important collection had been destroyed in the fire.
But, in 1985 a woman brought a collection of shells to show the curator at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. When asked where she had got them from she said that her ‘father had been in Liverpool during the war’ and she remembered they had come from there.
Luckily, a curator from the nearby Hunterian Museum was asked to look at the shells. Some years before he had worked at Liverpool Museum and he recognised the little Liverbird tags attached to the shells – these shells had in fact come from Liverpool Museum. They had been taken from the museum during the chaos of the Blitz.
The shells were returned to Liverpool and continue to be an important part of the Invertebrate Zoology collections.