Accession No



Leaf-shaped white marble fragment from the Taj Mahal.


Asia; South Asia; India; Uttar Pradesh; Agra; Taj Mahal


17th century


Lechmere-Oertel, Frederick Oscar [collector and donor]



Reference Numbers


Cultural Affliation



Stone; Marble

Local Term


32mm x 75mm x 18mm Weight 0.0604kg


Context ()
Record for 1930.1614: 'Four marble fragments from the Taj Mahal'. Original catalogue card missing.
Event Date
Author: Imogen Gunn (admin)

Conservation (Surface Clean)
CON.2016.3659 | Surface Clean
Event Date 13/12/2016
Author: Imogen Gunn (admin)

Context (Display)
'Another India: Explorations and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia' 07/03/2017 - 22/04/2018 MAA exhibition label text reads:

Souvenirs and Symbols

Engineer and archaeologist Frederick Oscar Lechmere-Oertel gave an eclectic collection to MAA in 1930, acquired during a long and varied career in India. Artefacts he collected appear throughout this exhibition: from examples of ‘tribal art’ to statues of Hindu deities; pieces of the Taj Mahal to the future symbol of the Republic of India.

3. Pieces of the Taj Mahal

Oertel supervised restoration of the monument built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Broken pieces of inlay were replaced. These were kept as mementos.

17th C. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Collected by F. Lechmere-Oertel. 1930.1614

Event Date 22/3/2017
Author: Imogen Gunn (admin)

Exhibition (Li Ka Shing Gallery)
EXH.2017.2 | Another India: Explorations and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia
Event Date 8/3/2017
Author: Imogen Gunn (admin)

Context (Production / use)
The Taj Mahal was built between 1632-1653.
Event Date 11/4/2018
Author: Imogen Gunn (admin)

Description (Physical description)
Leaf-shaped white marble fragment from the Taj Mahal.
Event Date 20/2/2020
Author: Imogen Gunn (admin)

Context (Acquisition Details)
The fragments were given to MAA after Lechmere-Oertel died, by his daughter. Lechmere-Oertel had a catalogue/list of his collection which was unfortunately lost by the time it was donated to MAA.
Event Date 11/4/2023
Author: Flo Sutton

Context (Production / use)
During a research visit on 11/4/2023, Sarthak Malhotra, PhD student in Social Anthropology, explained that all four fragments (1930.1614) appear to come specifically from the Qur'anic inscriptions on the Taj Mahal. He suggested that the fragments were gathered to exemplify the inlay technique: there are fragments of the black marble and the white marble, and a larger fragment of the two combined. There are tool marks on the edges of the largest piece (1930.1614.1) that suggest that it was deliberately cut from the building or from a larger piece of stonework.
Event Date 11/4/2023
Author: Flo Sutton


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