Hamish Marshall and Dan Housego extended their record-breaking fourth-wicket partnership to 280 before Gloucestershire declared on 409-5 on the second day of the LV=County Championship clash with Essex at Chelmsford.
By the close Essex had been reduced to 30-2 in reply, with James Fuller taking both of the wickets.
After rain frustratingly delayed the start until 3.10pm, the visitors resumed on 303-3 and added a further 48 runs before Marshall and Housego were parted.
They had come together at 71-3 on the opening day and the total had reched 351 when Marshall was caught by Rob Quiney off the bowling of Tymal Mills for 149.
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The Gloucestershire vice captain had faced 235 balls and hit 19 fours and a six. He and Housego had been together for 78 overs.
Housego had just reached his 150, having batted for seven hours and 14 minutes when he fell lbw to Ravi Bopara. The former Middlesex player had faced 341 balls and hit 18 fours in his highest first class score.
There was still no let up for the Essex bowlers as Benny Howell (37 not out) and Will Gidman (10 not out) added a further 31 in 8.2 overs before the declaration. Gloucestershire took four batting bonus points.
Essex had made only 11 in reply when Fuller bowled Quiney for four in the third over. The Australian opener had survived for only six balls.
The Gloucestershire seamer followed up by having Ben Foakes caught by Chris Dent, also for four, with the total on 23.