The prints, about 160 of which are from the Accardo collection, are reproductions of male and female costumes from Abruzzo, dating from 1790 to the period preceding the unification of Italy. In fact the history of costume from Abruzzo and Molise is documented in relatively recent times and linked to that of the Kingdom of Naples.
In the second half of the 18th century, the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV ordered a collection of folk costumes of the Kingdom and to the various provinces he sent two painters to portray from life the most characteristic costumes - often the best clothes of both men and women - and then reproduce them on the pottery of the Royal Porcelain Factory which he created in 1771.
This mission, which started in 1783, lasted fourteen years and the painters were in Abruzzo from 1790 to 1793. The original drawings were then used not only directly to decorate porcelain, but they have also provided inspiration to other artists who have played with different techniques such as engravings, lithographs, aquatints and watercolours, some of which are exhibited as museum specimens.
The oldest in the collection of costume engravings are the prints n. 1 and 2 - Shepherd and Woman from Isernia - respectively from 1791 and 1790. Also of value are the works, among others, of Milani - Aloja, of Pinelli, of Sgroppo and of Ferrari.
The most recent work is a pen drawing by Francesco Paolo Michetti. To these are added (unnumbered) a thematic collection related to the costumes of Pietraferrazzana (CH), a gift of Professor Caferra.
The clothes which are represented are exclusively female as they are more faithful to tradition than those of the men which gradually lost their distinctive characteristics because of the habitual movements of working men. They have almost all been reproduced, thanks to a donation from the Lions Club except those of Scanno and Pettorano sul Gizio which have authentic elements.
There are notable differences between the costumes of the mountain areas and those of the coast, especially in the choice of fabrics and colours. So the predominantly black wool cloth to attract the sun's rays were used in the inland areas and contrast with the lighter fabrics of the coast.
To the Fulgensi collection belong a number of objects relating to the world of pastoralism and especially to transhumance - a complex phenomenon that has for centuries influenced the lives of generations of people. This collection is dedicated to an activity of hard work and deprivation by men who were often very cultured and skilled craftsmen.
In the museum are also crooks with hooked handles, umbrellas and rifles - typical tools of the guardians of the flocks - and also bells and cowbells, tools for marking the animals and for milking, horns for gunpowder or rennet, lamps and bottles for oil, bowls, religious objects and books. Finally there are wooden items made by the shepherds for either utility or as a pastime.