Maninder Singh Gill

Maninder Singh Gill

Restoration and Conservation of Mughal Ceramics

Art Conservator

Art Conservation Solutions for a technical analysis of glazed title work decoration on Mughal monuments

The Fellowship was awarded to undertake three months (October to December 2005) specialised training/research at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, under the supervision of Dr Thila Tehran, Professor of Archaeological Materials and Techniques. The Institute of Archaeology is a research-led institution recognised for the excellence of its teaching and is  the largest centre for graduate studies in archaeology in Britain. The Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories there provide excellent facilities for the examination and analysis of a wide variety of archaeological material. Its in-house library has an international reputation as one of the finest archaeological collections in the world.

My  aim was to get training  in current advanced scientific techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the material composition of Mughal period  tiles and possibly identify reasons for their deterioration. The research took as its focus two early 17th century Mughal monuments at Agra (Chini-ka-Rauza) and Doraha (Doraha Sarai. Fragments of tile work were collected and carried for sophisticated instrumental analysis (optical and scanning electron microscopy).


Keeping in mind the vast potential for such studies in the field in India it is hoped that the experimental procedures taken up for the analysis of tile work could be replicated within India and employed in tandem with conservation measures being undertaken for their preservation. A sincere attempt would be made to educate the conservation community on the need and usefulness of such analytical studies in terms of devising strategies towards the improvement of standards of conservation of tile work in India.