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CONTENTS
Part I. VARNISH.

Etymology. Early origin. Wrappings of Egyptian Mummies.


Biblical reference. Schools of Painting. First great
A Varnish invented by Apelles. Ancient Asian Varnishes. Roman knowledge of
same. Paintings in Ruins of Pompeii. Preparation of ancient pictures. Character
Definition.

Paintings at Thebes.

of protective Varnish.

artists.

Losses

to Art

by destruction of Greek Republics.

Probable discovery of Varnish.

Demand

created.

Growth

and commercial

extension.

Japanese Lacquer.
Material

employed.

Introduction

How

the

trade

of ware to Europe.

was

developed.

Antiquity

Law

relating

of this

art.

thereto.

Mr.

Account and history of the industry. Differences of sap. Use.


probably produced. Characteristics of lacquer.
lacquers. How
application. Mr.
Suggested reasons. Collection of lacquer, and implements used
Hikorokuro's essay. Chemical composition. Analysis of lacquer. Mr.
Ishimatsu's
methods of separation. Communication by Professor Roscoe. Specific gravity.
of analyses.
Composition. Mr.
Takayama's analysis. Urishic Acid. Mean
Method of preparation of
Time and mode of collection of
Average
European
lacquer. Fine and common cabinet work. Japanese lacquer unsuitable
use. Probable large future consumption of European Varnishes
Japan and China.
Modern Varnish Making.
requirements and objects The desideratum.
Necessity of practical experience.- Misleading published workshop recipes. Extent of
the trade. Quantity of Fossil and Semi-fossil Resins consumed. Sources of the
supply. Development since 17th century.
Quin's paper.

Transparent

in

its

S.

result

J.

juice.

yield.

for

in

Its

Amber

impracticable

for

Varnish purposes.

Its

early

commercial repute.

Modern Violin Varnish. Expert opinion. Magnetic


qualities ami sounding properties. The old Italian Varnishes. An authoritative argument upon the supposed
The same contravened. A personal operative
Probable use by Violin makers.

lost

art.

2008135

knowledge.

Probable

Cremona

transmission.

expert's opinion thereon.

Difficulty

Varnish

successfully

An
Laboratory

imitated.

and danger attending the process.

by practical application upon instruments. The


Mr. Charles
The same refuted. Production of certain Varnishes
personal.
Black Japan. Laboratory experiments upset. Intimate tricky acquaintance with raw
obtaining uniformity. Consequent largely discontinued use
material. Difficulty

work.

Comparison

late

Reade's views.

still

in

abroad.

Comparison of

position with

Cremona Varnish.

Continental Works. Extracts and comments.


Bessemer Gold Paint. Melting Gum by steam vapours
Machinery and Plant. Stoutening Linseed Oil by air-blowing.

Literature of the subject.

Patents
or gas.

Patents

Opinions as

Review
for

of.

to merits.

Recent extension of the trade.


from Neil's "Art of making Copal and

High

Extracts
Scale of manufacture

esteem of English Varnish.

Spirit Varnishes," 1832.

Gum for melting. Comparison with present


Position of the trade now. Difficulty of establishing a
Fossil and Semi-fossil Resins.
Brand. Reasons. How attainable. Ingredients
Imports quantities. Whence derived. Copals original
Peculiarities. Sources
country of supply conjectured. Their familiar names.
then.

Purchase

and preparation of

methods and requirements.

of.

Part II. RESINS.


Amber. Physical and chemical properties. Philomel's opinion. Pliny's
Hoffman's proof. Distribution. Principal sources of supply. How fished
Amber mines. How worked. Collection and Price. Geological
from the
association. Undoubted vegetable origin. Imbedded Insects. Their probable period
Derivation of name. Ancient
discussed. Exact description. Electrical
point. Dry
Specific
gravity
and
melting
modern
poetry.

myths and
theory.

sale.

sea.

qualities.

distillation.

Distinctive characteristics.

Animis
the new Gum.
" Gooseskin."

Zanzibar.

Field

How

gravity.

- Melting

Tree

yielding same.

of supply. Where,
caused.

Cleaning

" Sandarusi," the old, " Chakazi,"


Peculiarity of surface.
sorting. Value. Fracture. Specific

and how found.


and

point.

Source of supply. Melting point. Specific


Demarara Animi. Tree yielding same. Whence collected. Beauty of the
cleaned Gum. Insects. Size of pieces. Largest specimen described. Appearance
Specific
deceptive. Value. Price declining. Reason. Destructive
Melting point. Opinion as merit.
Madagascar Animi.

gravity.

distillation.

gravity.

to

Similarity to Animis. Benguela and Angola Doubtful


Collecting
Markets. Copalliferous Zone
geographically and geologically defined. Gradual physical
Indrifting of
sand. Extinction of vegetation. The Boabab {Adansonia
Peculiar
Copals

botanical source.

West Coast.

Native

names.

districts.

alteration.
digitata).

tribution.

Probable

sale.

at

dis-

Opinion of authorities. Copals ascribable to limited


sub-division of vegetable kingdom. Scientific investigation on the subject. Detailed
arguments. Excerpts. Dr.
views
DanielPs
considered. Native
opinion. Dr.
Welwitsch's researches. His theories examined. Conclusions. Method of collection
and
Depth which Resin found. Cleaning and sorting. Coating and
incrustation. Facets. Value
practical use. Melting point. Specific gravity.
Sierra Leone Copals. Importance
Early knowledge. Mistaken char8th
century.
exports. Quantities. Producing
Use
Collection from
Botanical source. Description of
Habitat. Native
name. Use. Time of gathering, and methods. Coating. Cause
Mode of
lixivium.
Pebble Copal. How found and collected. Value. Increase
cleaning
of imports. Older Gum. Melting point. Color. Acid. Practical value
Varnish
purposes. Specific gravity. Market price.
Accra, Congo, Gaboon, and Loango Copals. Other African
of supply.
Ogea Gum. Native use. Where found. Quality and value. Botanical derivation.
Discovery of Copal Forest by Mr. Heathcote. Report
thereon. Geographical
position. Botanical source of
Resin. Native name. Melting point.
South American Copals. Undeveloped
Shipments irregular.
Quality varied. Mixed character. Recent Gums. Botanical sources.
Manila Copals. Peculiarities of appearance. Character.
distinguishing. Care necessary
use. Opinions upon
and hard
Tricky
nature. Trouble
Port of shipment. Districts of supply. Best and
worst descriptions. Principal consuming countries. Amsterdam
Mode of
packing. Sorting and cleaning. Accurate scheduling. Scant information as to proProbable mode of collecting. Melting point. Specific gravity.
ducing
Probable botanical sources.
Crop Gums. Objections
Kauri. Country of supply. Recent origin of the trade. Importance of
same. Increasing demand. Probable early exhaustion of known
Resin from
Worthlessness of same. Suggested export Remarkable peculiarity
living
of
Resin. Consequent value for Varnish making. Competition of Manila
Copals. Objections
practical
use. Botanical source. Producing
province.
Partly matured Gum. Range
Existing
value. Diversity of quality.
Accurate classification
marks or brands. Varieties
colour. Where and how
source.

Size.

is

in

of.

in

acter.

First

district.

trees.

tree.

of.

in

for

fields

its

fields.

Difficulties

in

soft

varieties.

in distillation.

sales.

districts.

to.

fields.

trees,

tax.

this

in

forests.

in

in

in

in

Size of pieces. Comparison with early shipments. The Gum digging The old Maori collectors. The Whites now engaged.- Method of collection.
Transportation. Cost. Sorting, packing and branding. Tenure of Maori lands.
Royalty exacted. Auctions of leases of Government lands. Principal supplying
Ground which different qualities are found. Annual value of collection.
found.

industry.

districts.

Universal
exports.

in

use.

This

America

distillation.

explained.

principal

Practical

market.

Range

reason
of

therefor.

specific

Quantity

gravity.

Loss

Damar. The

Gi"M
of collecting.

Mastic-

several

varieties.

The

most

Melting point. Specific gravity. Dark and

Botanical

Use

source.

Native

Turkey.

and

why.

Method

uses.

origin. How
gathered. Best
Producing
Other sources of supply. Quality. Employment Picture

Botanical

in

valuable,

Black Damar.

qualities.-

for

Varnish. Why so used.

Fault with
shipments
Suggestions. Analyses of Fossil Resins. Unverdorben's
Ure's ultimate constituents. Kane's three degrees. Dr. Edmund
The Potash absorption of Resins. Conclusions.
Bastard Animis and Copals.

Reasons.

of
in

-Melting point.

Botanical source.

country.

demand

the

first

of

Resin.

researches.

J. Mills' formula;.

t^B)

'Jin)

Varnish,

is

understood any liquid substance, the

diffusion of which, over solid bodies, gives to their

surface a certain brilliancy, by the combined effect


of reflection and refraction of the rays of light.

The etymology of
obscure,
to glaze,
ros,

and Vitrum

some

glass

signifying the vernal dew,


It

difficult

is

became a known

article

in

Europe,

is

is

hence
the

the French word

when

period

commerce, although

The manufacture,

of comparatively modern

somewhat

from the Latin Vitrinire

it

but the more probable root

trace

to

allied to the art of painting.


in

derive

word

the

date

it

as

but

is

Vermis

Vermis.

Varnish
is

first

of necessity

now understood
a

crude know-

ledge of the article must have been existent at a very early period, for

so-called Varnishes have

been

from

taken

wrappers

the

Egyptian

of

Mummies, though

these

were more probably prepared resins or natural

Even

balsams.
as the

the

as early

19th century h.c.

walls

Ezekiel

and temples of Thebes were decorated with paintings.

(who

paintings

in

prophesied

Jerusalem

600 years

about

"after the

b.c.)

also

refers

to

manner of the Babylonians and

Chaldeans;" works which were doubtless


protected

by some

substance of

the

character of Varnish.

The
the

in

classic

first

was
painted the Lesche or Public Hall

although Pliny seems

to prefer the

Schools

great artist

Polygnotus

of

were

era

Corinth, Athens

Sicyon,

The

chief

those

of

and Rhodes.

known

of

Painting

to history

Athens,

of Delphi about 450 b.c;

who
yet

works of Apollodorus, the most

celebrated painter of ancient days was without doubt Apelles (about

350

who

b.c.)

coloring

of

the

accurate drawing

united

the

fine

Ionian

with

the

of

the

schools,

and

paintings

were placed

some

Sicyonic

of

whose

in

Diana's

Temple

Pliny states that Apelles invented a Varnish

Ephesus.

at

the composition of which was

known only

had been made

certain that the Varnishes which

The Ruins

and employed by the Romans.

doubt as

to the

in

is

also

centuries

part

known

of Pompeii remove

made

use which the ancients

it

many

for

by the inhabitants of the Eastern parts of Asia, were


to,

and

to himself;

of

oil

all

painting for

decorative purposes.

The works
disappeared

and

there

solve

the

coloring
table
It

is,

with
is

to

no

Varnish

however,

or

substance

acknowledged

to

produced,

enable

preservation

the

by these early

any

generally

existence

whether

to

employed

in

them

saw

which

period

monument
as

who preceded him

and of those

Apelles

the

question

matter

of

that

of

to

the

was

attribu-

similar

nature.

painters

of

us

the

majority

of

these paintings were executed in a kind

(Tabula) and

of distemper on boards

some preparation of Var-

with

fixed

nish in which oil formed a conspicuous


constituent.

These
lustre

artists,

age

the

to

Socrates,

great

who added
and

Pericles

of

combined grace of disposition

with brightness of coloring, and pro-

which

duced master- pieces,

although

existing only in the descriptions trans-

mitted

to

the losses

show how great were

us,

Art which followed the

to

destruction of the Greek Republics.

may

It

be

readily

believed that

the discovery of Varnish was the fruit

of repeated

who made

and though those

trials,

had continually

it

in

their

hands the essential materials, yet there

was

still

tained

a motive wanting

demand

created
nations

that of sus-

which was however soon

among peaceable and industrious


by

taste

for

luxury,

and

extended by commercial intercourse.

The Japanese,
are

celebrated

Enamel ^Varnish

as

for

so

is

well-known,

the

peculiar

largely

used

--_

'.

their lacquer industry,

in

and

most probable that

is

it

the exquisite gloss of the Chinese and Japanese

brought

over by the

15th

the

or

There
a

<

entury,

make attempts

artists to

from

i6th

Jesuit

fact,

^s."'^

^^p**

European

induced

W^'

it.

no doubt that Varnishing has been practised

is

very

period

early

Japan,

in

employed has no resemblance


in

W_

Ni

Missionaries of

to imitate

work

to

European Varnish, being

Rhus

the crude sap of the

but the material

vernicifera

of which were

tree, plantations
officially

or lacquer

established

Japan

in

during the reign of the Emperor

Mommu
edict

was

a.d.

to

701

704.

An

at that time issued that

each farmer employing six hands


should plant 80 lacquer trees on

'jl^W
j

^^ffllr '^%

his grounds,

hands
t ^ie

70,

one employing four

and so

on,

and also that

annua l taxes should be paid

in lacquer.

This law led to the


in

every

treatise

upon

founding of plantations
village.

RHUS VERNICIFERA.

Mr.

J.

J.

Ouin read a very interesting

this subject before the Asiatic


1

2th,

1880, which

is

to

be found

that Society, published at

Crawford

&

Co.

Society of Japan, on October


in the

Yokohama by

Transactions of
Messrs.

Lane,

An

lacquer

the

account

exhaustive

there

making of

is

some

give a brief

to

upon

formation
states that

it

is

of

it

the

of interest

of his

As

J&M$

in-

lie

question.
if

the

art existed previous to the time

ot^j

the

Emperor Jimmu,

i.e.

during the ages spoken of as the times of the Gods

mentioned

in

B.C.

560-581,

Koan, who ascended the throne


first

on

B.c.

whom

unfortunately not

The next
Ko-toku
the

a.d.

known what

Government

is

Emperor

articles

this title existed,

it

were manufactured.
is in

the reign of the

In his time lacquered articles

in lieu

it

the office of " Chief of the Imperial

notice of interest on lacquer


645.

but

named Mitsu-ne-

392, a person

Lacquer Department" was conferred; but though


is

the old records that during the reign of the

no-Sukune was the

of the

procuring

in

may be

doubtful

descriptions

of

sundry recipes

now

summary

whole history

the

detailed

the different varieties.

difficulty

Mr. Ouin's paper,

with

together

industry,

methods of application, and


for the

given

is

Emperor

were received by

of taxes, and an order issued that

in future the

<><><><><><><>><><><>< <>0<n> ><><

4>

:*:

<>0> 4> <<><><><><> <><><><> <><><> <-<<><>

of

joints

the

Imperial

coffins

should be covered with lacquer.


In

this

reign

too,

rules

were

cere-

respecting

established

monial head covering, and mention

is

made

of the

pendant being stiffened with lacquer.


In a.d. 673-686, a

invented the

workman whose name has not been

manufacture of

red

preserved,

lacquer and

presented a set of shelves to the Emperor.


taste

&;

ware spread throughout the country, and

\J^

Between the years


for this
in

a.d. 782

and 806 the

the Lacquer

the following reign

Department

Takumiriyd,

was incorporated with the

which

answers to the Public Works Department of the


present day.

On

account of the luxurious habits of the Kuges at Kioto during

the years a.d. 950 to


ously,

1S5, the lacquer trade of that city throve vigor-

and the fame of

persons

and

admirers

Kioto workmen to

the

of

settle

Kioto ware was

artistic
in

their

furniture,

provinces,

migration tending greatly to the diffusion and

ment of the

industry.

such,

induced
the
still

that

wealthy

numbers of

results

of this

further develop-

During

this period also,

extremely expert

in

working lacquer, and

own manufacture

their

Between
family

built

greatly

castles

makers

is

said sold articles of

two

retainers

which

locality

lacquer

in

of

the

Ashikaga

prospered

were

attracted

high reputation.

About

became

made subsequently acquired a

and the ware

there,

Sakai,

at

it

officials

considerable quantities.

in

1368- 1392

a.d.

numerous

a number of priests and

/HP*

the year a.d. 1500 Chinese patterns

and modes of working, and several of

J^\

lS

MKlU'&M

their

methods of applying lacquer, were introduced,


including that of embossing

in

red and black

lacquers.

During the

three quarters of the 16th

first

Century Japan was a constant scene of


wars,

which

naturally

caused

civil

commerce

to

six

[^
l&i

decline, until the advent of TaikG Hideyoshi,

jk

wno con q u ered

JH
s'

ful

the whole country.

15 87-16
=

%?f that

1,

date

and from
until

now

the industry has increased and flourished

a manner formerly unknown.

seems

from

the

that

young

It

continued to prosper

during the reign of the Emperor Go-Yozei, a.d.

||j

It

peace-

times which followed enabled the lacquer

trade to revive again.

in

The

the

trees

is

sap obtained ||r?


used

for

the

first

applications,

and that from the old ones

for the finishing coats

The manner

well as in the manufacture of transparent lacquers.

which

this article is treated to

we should
by

however,

say,

with weak acid.

probably

is

it

transparent

oxygen

and

not dry nor harden

process

probably by the absorp-

air,

it is

vogue

in

curious that they will

properly

in

the open

requiring

air,

damp

close

atmosphere, otherwise the lacquer runs, and remains


sticky or " tacky."

A very complete set of Japanese


lacquers,

and of the implements

used

their

in

appli-

m)

cation,

together

with

partly

finished

and

finished

examples of work

are

No.

exhibited
i

in the

Kew.

in

Museum

Royal Gardens,

This collection

was

got together by Mr.

Ouin

Kew,

and

expressly

for

served to illustrate his paper,

which was ultimately printed


in

the form of a Consular

Report

to the

Foreign Office.
9

is

A-

ls

in

not divulged

accomplished

All these lacquers turn black

on exposure to the

the

it

through charcoal, or by treatment

filtration

tion of

that

make

either

very elaborate essay on the chemical

composition

of these

which formed one of the Prize Essays of the Edinburgh

lacquers,

International Forestry Exhibition, 1884,

was written by Mr. Hikorokuro

Yoshida, Chemist to the Imperial Geological Survey of Japan.

He

treats of the analysis of lacquer in a

most exhaustive manner,

following the methods of separation employed by Mr. S. Ishimatsu of


the Tokio University,
in

who embodied

the results of his investigations

a paper communicated to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical

Society by Professor Roscoe (February 18th, 1879).

The pure Yoshino


of roo20 at 20

lacquer, which

is

the best, has a specific gravity

C, and the following composition

Urushic Acid

Gum

Arabic

Nitrogenous Matter

Water and

85-15

...

3*15

Volatile Matter

2-28
9/4 2

IOO'OO

Mr.

J.

Takayma's analysis of a sample bought

however, a rather different

result, as

Urushic Acid

Gum

Arabic

under

at

Tokio gives,

64-07

Nitrogenous Matter
Oil

Water and

Volatile Matter

IOO'OO
It is

recognised that the higher the percentage of Urushic Acid


10

the lacquer contains, the better

mean

analyses of this acid give a

Carbon

is

Dried

the quality.

result of

no

C.

77'05

------

Hydrogen

at

g'oi

Oxygen

3'94

iocroo

The

collection of the juice takes place

and November
sides, are

made

between the months of June

shallow cuts about an inch apart, upon alternate

in

the stems of the trees, and from these incisions

The average annual

the crude lacquer flows.


yield from each tree

about 400 grammes,

is

but the quantity and the quality

upon the age of the


at

which

it is

The mode
"

To

tree

much depend

and the time of year

tapped.
of preparation

is

thus described

be made a Varnish, the lacquer juice

" through linen, to

"Afterwards

it

is

get

rid

of bark,

thoroughly stirred

is

first

strained

dust and other impurities.


in large

shallow dishes and

" placed in the sun for several days, to remove superfluous moisture.
"

The

"

oil, fine clay,

refined juice

then mixed with various substances, such as

body pigment, metallic

" ware for which

The

is

it is

dusts,

to the

intended."

best Cabinets require from ten to twelve

coats of lacquer, and these have

rubbed down, treated, and


the

&c, according

fineer,

while

description of

are necessary.
1

to

be elaborately

finally polished with oil

for

even

the

by

commonest

work some three or four coats

The extraordinary

conditions of application which these Japanese

lacquers require, render

used

tor

European work

of time,

both

highly improbable that they

it

and

it

not at

is

Japan and China

will

will

ever be

unlikely, that in course

all

become large consumers of

European Varnishes.

The

Varnish making, as understood

art of

in

Europe, consists of

discovering and practically applying certain formulae of composition,


the results

which unite the essential characteristics which constitute

ol

high-class quality, viz.

When

brilliancy, transparency

manufacturer

accomplished

this

has

successfully

is

durability.

and with regularity

desideratum, he endeavours to keep his knowledge,

and the means employed, profoundly


experience

and

secret.

thoroughly practical

absolutely of primary importance, for the volumes of


so-called

workshop recipes

on the subject are not only useless


to

have been written

etc., that

for the object

sought

be attained, but are often purposely misleading.

The manufacture of Varnish


day

the

in

present

conducted on so vast a scale that the Eossil

is

and Semi-fossil

Resins,

which

form

its

base,

are

brought from every quarter of the globe to feed the


requirements
yearly

of

consumed

portion of this

of

New

the trade
in

England

Gum

Zealand.

Ijp

Kauri

3.000 tons

alone.

comes

The remainder

different points of the

''^--

about

By

far the larger

from our Colony


is

shipped

Copal.
12

from

East and West Coasts of Africa,

the Philippine Islands, Brazil &c., under the

=of Animi and

being

names

NIL

jiy

=rr

Of

these

all

^now constitute

they

although

products,

such an important branch of trade,

we do not believe one was commercially known


in the

and many were unheard

17th Century,

of even 50 years ago.

Notwithstanding the

and practical

scientific

knowledge of the present day, and the experience


gained by the use of the heterogeneous varieties
of Resins mentioned,

cannot practically be used

Varnish

market

On

in

for

it

fact,

admitted that

is

it

in

the manufacture of

for that purpose, there is

no

at all in this country.

Amber

the other hand,

from time immemorial

it

Electrum, or

has been known

has a

of the civilised languages, the

Amber

name

one

Amber being
Greek.

in

in

most

our own

derived from the

Certain
the

it

is

Amber was

that

a recognised commercial article

6th Century, and was in point of

quantities on the shores of the Adriatic


that

it

was used

collected in sufficient

fact,

to justify the assumption

Sea

purpose other than

for a

in

that

of ornamentation.

This purpose was probably the manufacture


of Varnish for Violins, that mystic process, the

supposed

secret

lost

which,

of

is

so

often

pathetically deplored.

Most

if

not

all,

modern Violins are

finished

with a Varnish prepared from a tender


dissolved

which,

in

there

alcohol,

the

in

never was

and we think

that

rightly,

preparation

nor

either secret or difficulty.

Gum

ever

will

of
be,

Some

experts hold,

the

use of spirit

Varnishes upon the instruments detracts from

sounding properties.

their

It

is

possible too

that the peculiar magnetic qualities present in

Amber, exercised some

influence in producing

the marvellous tones possessed

by the Violins

of the old masters.

late writer gives the following as his opinion

of Italian Varnishes
"

"After
" for

it

To account
1760,

for its

sudden disappearance and

or even at an ealier date,

was quite

sufficient to

"The problem

of

its

" without over-stepping the


" was

composed of a

upon the subject

all

trace of

total loss
is

it

is

indeed not easy.

obliterated.

prevent the supply dying out, had

it

The demand

been possible.

sudden disappearance may perhaps be accounted

bounds of

peculiar

Gum

possibility,

quite

14

common

if

we suppose

in

that

for,

the Varnish

those days, extensively used

" for other purposes besides the varnishing of Violins, an

"thereby caused

be a marketable

to

"Suddenly, we

article.

suppose,

will

the

demand

for

its

"supply ceased, and the commercial world troubled no more about the matter;
" the natural consequence would be non-production.
"

It

is

well-known

that

there

" in frequent supply and use, but

We

now

are

numerous instances of commodities once

entirely obsolete

and extinct."

think that the foregoing speculations upon the loss of the art,

although within the bounds of possibility, are outside those of probability.

Knowing, as we

do,

fixed or volatile oils,

is

that

the

not only

melting of
difficult

Amber Gum

in

either

but extremely dangerous,

it

can be readily understood how the secret died with each master, who

had personally

to

superintend the manufacture of his Varnish.

The

formula [more or

was proba-

less correct)

bly transmitted, and hence

we have

that

is

it

the Violin Varnish of that

different results in

immediate period, which would scarcely have been possible

had the Varnish been made from a

simply dissolved

A
and

Gum

or Resin

in alcohol.

few years ago a well-known enthusiast

their build,

in

Violins

requested us to try some experiments

with a view, as far as possible, of imitating the old

and

after considerable

Amber

we succeeded

difficulty

in

Cremona Varnish,
producing a pure

Varnish which seemed to give the satisfaction desired.

following

is

an extract from one of his letters

The

"q/A September, 1880.

much

very

011

'eeks since.

for the

have tried

it

sample of Violin Varnish forwarded

on a piece of maple the same as used

backs of violins, and the result

compared

in every

is

way most

satisfactory.

with two of the last examples of Varnishing-,

by Bergonzi, and a 'Cello' by Montagnana, both

iolin
f

it

Stradivarius,

think

it

I,

as well as a friend

who

is

an excellent

quite as brilliant as either of the Varnishes

on

struments named.
"

have no doubt whatever that this

the

Cremona

masters.

is

the same as used

have two finished with

'Varnish according to Reade's system, but they


ar

comparision with the

Amber

spirit

will

not

Varnish."

Again on the 5th January following, he


wrote

"

shall bring

an unvarnished instrument and

" perhaps a finished one with me.

friend

who has

"examined most of Mr. Hart's instruments and many


16

"others,

pro-

"nounces

this

"

the in-trument

" finished with the

^i^"

"

Amber

" to

Varnish)

much

be

"superior to

"the

fej<0

'

/OT\vra i

English

"makers,

y
'

every

way

all

and
to

in

that

of

" the 'renowned' copies of Italian

^^^^^^{'^Jf/

"makers by Vuillaume."

'"'

Notwithstanding- the gratifying results of this

many

constant personal attention required, and the


tinually encountered in dealing with

the great liability of this

any attempt

making

of

Gum

Amber, not the

to fire

under heat,

experience

the

difficulties

con-

least of

which

is

effectually preclude

manufacture outside the laboratory, and render the

to

Amber

Varnish

troublesome

too

for

anyone

but

an

enthusiast or a Violin maker.

The

late

Mr.

Charles

Reade

the subject in a letter to the Pall

an
Mall

1872, suggests the following hypothesis


" Surely

Amber

" makers to have

too dear a

is

used

" Varnish than Quartz


" to burn, catch

fire,

"fusing of Amber;

in Italy.

is,

Gum, and

do anything but melt.


it

came

out

of

their

17

Gazelle,

dated 31st August,

too impracticable for two hundred fiddle

Till fused

and who can fuse

acknowledged authority on

by dry heat

Copal

it ?

tried

is

it

is

no more soluble

inclined to melt, but

more than one chemist

hands a dark

brown opaque

in

Amber
in

substai

the

" rather burnt than fused.


" yet

knew

never

When

really Fused

man who

but one

" machinery invented by himself for


"

down

at

it

is

a dark olive

could bring
in

to

it

gnen

as clear as crystal

of which he nearly burnt his

spite

and he had special

this,

house

one day."

This
the

it,

it

extract

Amber

really

theory; there

views

summarises

Mr.

Reade's

however

little

difficulty

is

in

against

refuting- his

propositions

As

a matter of fact, the dark and smaller pieces of this

Gum

(which are unsuitable for ornaments etc.) as well as the choppings,

sweepings and dust, have always been, more or

market.

few years ago, we remember one

lot

less,

of

a drug

in

the

Amber, about 50

tons in weight, offered in London, being actually unsaleable at ^"20


a ton

this

parcel too was of a quality, which

would have commanded a ready


obvious therefore that price
current Varnish

Gum

sale at

not the obstacle to

is

the true objection

of

Varnish purposes

employment

its

in

anything

like

is

for

com-

mercial quantities.

With reference
ment, as there
in

this

Resin,

is

to the chemist's experi-

no color approaching

we may

safely

the dark olive green spoken

it

assume that
of,

resulted

from the action of the Succinic acid contained in the

used

it

Gum, upon

may be added

the copper vessel


that such a mis-

chance could only happen

to

a novice.

Kauri or Copal

much higher

rather to be found in the acknowledged


impracticability

in

its

rates.

It

is

adoption as a

Q
/.i

o
'-

house about his ears

h' s

'Vc^SV*--'?

oil

..

qP)

-^j

^-A-

we

that

of

insurmountable

difficulty,

attribute the loss, so deeply deplored

it.

by

we

freely admit,

and

to this alone,

violinists, of the art

making the famous old Cremona Varnish.


It is

curious

how

history repeats

Even

itself.

with technical education so widely diffused, and


so

some

an operation ot

is

siderable danger,

to this all but

speak with

extreme delicacy, attended with con-

^kl~G"t (^'Q
is

in

this point

accomplished

repeatedly

That the fusing

J~^.

can be melted

authority, for the writer has him-

self

<Q

to

we

the attempt,

by heat; and on

we claim

'Jri'^jyct?

in

Amber

maintain that

>

it

individual
muiviuuai

mentioned by Mr. Reade so nearly burnt

^""" C'vJ

CVTc5^\ Q^~Cil

and

the
me

that
mac

iNoiwunsuinuing
Notwithstanding

pj

important

part

in

pulation of

some

special

matter

much

so,

so

produced

in

all

manufactures,

in

the present day,

when science plays

the

successful

mani-

Varnishes remains practically a personal

that

it

super-excellence

is

admitted these specialties are only

by certain

whose long

individuals,

operative experience has given them a "tricky"

acquaintance with

the material with which they have to deal, quite on a par with that particular

knowledge undoubtedly possessed by the Violin makers of

This

is

old.

notably the case with Black Japan, of which Assyrian

Asphaltum forms the base.


this article of a

Such

is

the

difficulty

uniform high class quality, that

America and Germany

to

wit

its

discontinued.
19

in

in

some

obtaining
countries

use has to a large extent been

No
element

stronger confirmation
in

of our contention

of the

personal

manufacturing, could we think be adduced than the fact

that although this article

is

an absolute necessity

in

the highest class

of carriage work, the "crack" manufacturers of Black Japan, in the

may

world,

easily

The making

be counted on the fingers of one hand.


of this article literally defies

ments, and absolutely necessitates, for


practical

its

all

laboratory experi-

production

in perfection, that

and "tricky" knowledge before mentioned, a knowledge which

might very easily die

out, like that of the Violin Varnishes, with the

person operating on the crude material.

Some
or

jumped

15 or

20 years ago a celebrated manufacturer of Japan

off Blackfriars Bridge,

and

it

was generally

admitted that he took his particular recipe with him.

The

in

recipe

connection,

this

one of Cremona,

is

with

the

lost

an equivalent for knowledge and

and when

experience,

as

the

modern Violin makers

wish to emulate their more successful predecessors,


they must study and personally superintend the art

Amber by

of dissolving

fire

heat

in oil, far

away

in

the top garret (as they did of yore) where there will

be plenty of

air to disperse the stifling

fumes, and

no danger of the spying curiosity of a Peeping

Tom.
In

the

latter

part

of

last

century

some

exhaustive works upon Varnishes were published on


the Continent

system

for

one author especially advocating a

the use of

Amber

in

the preparation

fell,

of Varnish for Snuff Boxes and


other articles likely to be

much
(

handled.
to

The Gum was


treatment

special

be subjected

to

before

capable of being employed

was

it

in the

manu-

facture of Varnish, an idea possi

from

the

Atir

making centres

violin

"This

treatment,

vantageous, would be imprac**"

wSM&&z^.

ticable now-a-days. for the writer continues:

ira^'H^
'

j%

"I must

this process,

insist

on the advantage of employing

in

doses of four or six ounces only,"

a position which obviously limits operations to the

"

| */#"

laboratory.

Another contributor
p^\\\^.
;

to the literature

same

subject, writing about the

period, says, in a

" This

Art

(Varnish

Making)

" secrets, adopted in workshops.

abounds

These

" them, and

if

bad they injure the

sage reflection

He

The Varnishes made

,,,7kV^- 4m
M
P-

artists

adds

pretended

with

secrets, if

" the progress of the arts, by concealing the

(/4'P

this

drawn up by request of the Society of

report

Geneva

upon

good, retard

means of improving

who enjoy them."

at present are

much

superior to those

" of China, which are confined to three colours


" red, yellow and black

which require

long and

" tedious processes, prejudicial to the health of


'

artists,

21

and which are never proper

for delicate

" articles.

This ancient

may

nation

boast

of expert and

patient hands,

but

the

" Europeans have been guided by genius."

Although somewhat pompously expressed, there was doubtless

much

argument

truth in this

stronger

at the

time

it

was

how much

written, but

the position now, in view of the enormous improvements in

is

the quality of manufacture, as contrasted with that of ioo years ago.


a work which obtained considerable notoriety

In 1772,

"
lished by the celebrated Watin, called

L'Art de /aire

which many formulae were given

making

Varnish upon a small

for

rate

work

composition des

le

known

in

of

in Paris

"Le parfait

good,

J'emisseur"

Vends en general" besides an elabo-

one volume of which was devoted


things then

different varieties

four volumes, entitled: " Les secrets des Arts

in

Vernis"

scale.

About the same time was published


and " Traite sur

les

was pub-

bad and

to Varnishes,

et

Metiers"

and contained many

indifferent.

Although many patents have been taken out


for the

manufacture of Varnish, we are

unable to trace any as being very


successful or of
value, while

ones

patience to

is
is

dated

practical

some of the

require

of which

much

early

considerable

The

read.

first

we have any record,

Way

of an

21st,

and

*'

ordinary character

"For paying

ships' sides,

preserving timber
taken out

1754,

in

"
;

and

but one

June. 1763, by

Benjamin Keene and Carl Friedrich


22

Schmidt,

worth

is

reprinting.

Varnish, entirely new,


is

worded as under
"

oil,

Poppy

half-a-pint

quarts

pound;

spirits

Gum

oil,

ten

ounces

The

oil,

nutt

oil,

two quarts

two quarts
riebensaat

Gum

Gum

baum

Composition and

Gum

elimy,

rochemuehl, four pounds


be

saffron,

mixed

neats-foot

spirits of wine,

three

Copal,

two
one

Gum

ounces;

veziga, eight ounces

Hartz, eight ounces

foregoing ingredients are to

two pounds

mastiek,

one quart

oil,

one pint

oil,

guaicum, four ounces

Idenpech, four ounces


:

one pound and a half;

sandrick,

wesk, eight ounces

"a

called

with Oils and various other things," and

of turpentine, three quarts

taccamahe, four ounces

is

one gallon

linseed

made

It

bernstein,

Wayranch, four ounces

one ounce.

together

and boiled

to

proper

consistency."

Most of the " various other things

"

are

unknown

the present day, and what the wretched concoction

was

to the craft in
fit

for

when

the

ingredients were " boiled together " simply baffles imagination.

Sir

Henry Bessemer,

in

1844, took out a patent for a kind of

Varnish which became well known, and had considerable success under
the

name

of

'

Bessemer Gold Paint"; and one was also obtained

by John Webster

Gum

melting

in

by steam vapour or

we never heard

gas," but

"For

1853

of this

system being practically used.


Various patents are recorded for the improve-

ment of the plant and machinery

necessary

to

manufacture on the scale now required, some of

which have been serviceable

and

costly

recent

but most, after elaborate

have been found wanting

trials,

effects professed to

In

the

in

be produced.

years

some

firms

have adopted

patent system by which the Linseed Oil used

manufacture of Varnish

in

the

thickened

by

by which process

less

artificially

is

LINSEED.

blowing

air

through

Resin

Fossil

production.

it,

at certain temperatures,

required

is

thus materially cheapening

This otherwise very desirable result

is

of

the cost

achieved, however,

entirely at the

expense of the quality, and some manufacturers, who

had reputation

to lose

compelled,

were

after erecting plant at considerable expense

with

some

precipitation,

return

to

to

the

old

methods of making.
It

is

extraordinary the

made, during the

last

immense

30 or 40 years,

strides English houses


in the

art of

have

manufacturing

Varnish, both as to quantity and quality, to such good purpose that

"English Varnish''
civilised world,

"make"
of this

is

esteemed and sought

for in every part of the

and holds a higher reputation

of any other country.

advance by laying

Some
before

24

may be

given of the extent

reader a

few extracts from

idea

the

and value than the

-j/r^rr.

"a communication

~= ri-'

making Copal and

of

Society of Arts in 1832, by one

awarded the

Isis

He

gold medal.

"Everyone intending

J.

to manufacture

spirit

Varnishes," read before the

Wilson Neil,
advises that

Vamish on

to

whom

18

by 16

feet,

Then

sufficiently large for

a profitable scale should procure

on a " large scale."

and

building should

utensils requisite for

Runs or meltings of

one time, are recommended, and

then

The

manufacturing 4,000 gallons annually."

follows a description of the pots

this business

at

and

the Society

" suitable premises out of town of sufficient area fora large business.

"be

on the Art'

lbs.

after describing the different

sales in lots of

two chests, each weighing

2 cwt.,

the writer enters into

minute instructions as to chopping the Gum,


:

" Procure a board about the


" tray and
"

it

" 8

open
in.

fix

at

on to
front,

long by

it

size of a large tea

a back and two ends leaving

procure a piece of lead

6 in.

broad and

in.

" thick, place the lead on the tray with


" the

assorted

" likewise a

Gums

market, which he says were sold at the East India Co.'s

in the

as follows

of Copal

Gums which

small

hammer

require

with

the

breaking,

procure

end reversing,

25

sit

down, with the

"left

hand drag

size of a filbert lav

"but every piece about the

" and steady between the finger


"right,
"

hit

ium

is

It

Gum

one side every piece of

to

Gum

the piece of

that does not require- to be broke,

on the

thumb of the

anil

one steady

lead,

Gum

hand with the hammer

left

and cut

strike

and holding the

it

flat

the

in

The

by piece after piece.

ready lor the pot."

perhaps hardly necessary to say that

is

manufactories of any importance,

all

the chopping, in

now done by machinery.* The paper

is

then gives a few recipes, and suggests tanking in 150 gallon cisterns.

The only item

now

stands equally good


" Every Varnish

applicable

"

flutter,

as then,

Maker ought

" not, and when anything

the following caution

is

to have his assistant at hand, whether

to be clone

is

modern Varnish making, which

to

do

it

quickly

wanted or

never do anything in a hurry or

always be cool, collected and firm, and to insure against accidents be prepared

" to meet them deliberately.

The

greatest

number of accidents occur

either through

" hurry, fear, or drunkenness."

Every operative Varnish Maker would do


instructions

important

We

before

now

his

than

in

eyes daily.

They

importance

of

profitable scale

the

trade

then

it

anything,

more

if

1832.

contrast
the

above

are,

have given these detailed particulars

may judge by

well to have the

since

in

order that the reader

enormous extension
that

and

To manufacture on

time.

was only necessary

to

have an output

4,000 gallons annually, whereas, to arrive at anything


result

now, nearly that quantity weekly

of mere specialties
*

An

Illustrated

may

is

increased

required.

a
ot

like a similar

Manufacturers

possibly be exceptions.

Pamphlet descriptive of one of the

largest

obtained of the publishers of this volume, price one shilling.

26

modern Varnish Manufactories may

lie

Although the advance of technical


ledge, and free trade tend to break

an

Brand the work of


attainment,
in

se,

years,

scientific

down monopolies, Varnish

which entire confidence

article in the use of

stands practically per

instruction,

is

know-

being

a matter of necessity

a position which makes the establishment of a


if

not generations

and then

by long technical knowledge,

assiduity,

only possible of

and precision

manufacture.

Of

the

ingredients used

in

Varnish,

it

is

only our intention to

speak of the Fossil and Semi-Fossil Resins; the successful manipulation


of which depends very largely on

acquaintance

intimate

an

with what has been aptly described as the " virtues, vices and
idiosyncracies " of these peculiar vegetable substances

many

the forestal remnants of by-gone ages.

The
is

re-exported

nearly

annual imports into England

total

amount

two- thirds

Gum

Kauri

of

being

New

to

400

adjacent
various

to

by

represented

Zealand

the

about 400 tons


of Sierra

of

and the
the

world,

remainder
principally

fromj||l
that

portion of Africa bordering on the Torrid Zone.

The

of which

500 tons from the Philippine and

Islands,

parts

part

about 4,000 tons,

come from our West African Colony


Leone

Fossil Resins, as a body, are vulgarly

27

"'Ss^

designated by the term Copal, this being the general

Resins and Gums, from which fact

for all

of

commerce was

first

their

for greater

by

known

class

them

their familiar

in the

In giving a slight
in

our markets,

we

names,

their scientific

denom-

order of their values, and distinguish them

viz.:

Amber, Animi, Copal, Kauri &c.

/&

$m^&&^:
*tfl.

Mexico

convenience, speak of them indifferently as Gums,

commercial description, or as Resins,

ination

in

conjectured the Copal

brought from that country.

description of the different current varieties


shall,

is

it

name

28

*T^&j9^JjJjuSX*Jf+*A+*Js^^

W^

'

^Ai/

This Resin has physical and chemical properties different from

any other

kind.

Many

persons

in

olden times believed with Philemon that

Amber

originated from the earth, and did not depend upon any particular

more acumen than

organization, but

many

vegetable
to

hardened

of

by

unknown,
this

was

generally

under

Amber

is

the

in

autumnal

cold.

analysis

was

the

part

latter

William,

chemist

King of

prove to naturalists that


Resin

Although met with


found

Tree,

brated

Frederick

was the

it

accepted.

cele-

Prussia,

declaring

though erroneous,

idea,

Hoffman, a

it

Pine

the

comparative

then

of

by

origin

Resin

be

As

assigned to

of his day,

of
in

Antediluvian
nearly

all

Coniferae.

countries of the world,

exceptionally large quantities in Eastern

30

it

Germany and on

is

the

rocks

waves, and after violent storms,


their nets against the
to

its

foaming

extreme lightness, the

literally fished out

sea,

Gum

is

as

associated

for the

and

Mines of some im-

the Valley of the

in

Hukung,

The miners however labour under considerable

wooden crowbars tipped with

The Amber

visit the

thrown up.

being provided with tools of a very primitive character,

difficulties,

such

by men, who hold

upon the surface of which, owing

portance are worked at Payentoung,

Upper Burmah.

by the action of the

etc.,

is

found

with

in

iron,

and wooden shovels.

a stratum of cretaceous blue clay, irregularly

lignite.

Shan and Chinese merchants occasionally

mines and buy up the stock

at prices

rougher produce, to fancy prices

varying from

is.

per

lb.

for special pieces of a size

quality suitable for jewellery, cigar tubes etc.


In

some places

this

Resin occurs
31

in

the

brown coal layer of

bituminous wood, and

adhering

to

the

is

it

not

uncommon

lower parts of the

meet with pieces

to

trunks

specimens have always a pyramidal form, which


distillation

The

of trees.

from the trees above, and removes

still

larger

sufficiently attests

doubt as

all

to

its

vegetable origin.

Being

in their first state

come

insects with which they

present

in

liquid, all

in contact,

almost every variety


>silised

Resins naturally envelope any

this

Amber.

consequently we find them


particularly

is

Although science

period of these

insects,

Bernard

noticeable

in

unable to

fix

is

de Jussieu has

stated that they do not belong to our continent, or

era

while Professor Zadbach, of Konigsberg, very

practically informs us that the trees yielding the

Resin must have grown upon the green sandbeds


of the Cretacean formation, which then formed
the

shores

of the

estuaries

where

lower

the

division of the tertiary accumulated.

Amber may
^/@\

it

rubbed

JMM**^

Being

substance, dry, brittle and inflammable.

igfthard

be described as a bituminous

is

susceptible of a fine polish, and

on

soft

_ properties, hence

32

its

body

it

exhibits

when

electric

Greek derivation Electron

another and older

name

for

it

was Karabe\ originally Persian, and

signifying- " attractor of straws."

Books of most periods

refer to

its

was intermingled with the myths and


even

modern

in

times,

is

poetically

many supposed

qualities

religions of the Greeks,

described as a

concretion

it

and
of

birds' tears.

"Around

thee shall glisten the loveliest

Amber

That ever the sorrowing sea bird hath wept."

(Tom
It

has a specific gravity very

Moore's "Fire Worshippers."')


little

high melting point not becoming wholly


Subject to dry distillation

it

heavier than
fluid

its

use

in

.V,

and a

we have seen already

quantities sufficiently large for

making.

but a

under 6oo Fah.

yields large quantities of acid

highly inflammable gas. peculiarities which as

prevent

water,

practical Varnish

Of

the Animis,

the most noted and valuable

The exact genus and

from Zanzibar.

that

is

exported

species of the tree yielding this

Resin remained for a long time a matter of considerable doubt, but

now proved
to the

be the Trachylobium verrucosum, which

to

is

is

closely allied

genus Hymenaa.

Burton, Kirk and Stanley have

of the finding of this

Gum, and

all

written detailed descriptions

was generally assumed that the ripe

it

old kind, called " Sandarusi " by the natives of the Coast, was the

product of extinct
species

that

trees,

afford

but Sir John Kirk attributes

the " Chakazi

"

or

new Resin

it

to the

same

the living trees

yielding which, both Burton and Welwitsch report as probably existing


in

the interior.

The

fields

30 miles inland
Delgado,

in

from which the older Resin

from

Ras Gomani,

south latitude io 41'

in

collected

south latitude 30

the Gum

34

is

is

lie

to

some
Ras

always found overlaid

with vestiges of decayed vegetation,

usually

the surface, and associated with a red sandy

The

finest quality is

of the river of that

dug up by

name;

its

the

surface

some

soil.

Wawandi

is

four feet beneath

tribe from the banks

strongly marked with regular

indentations and elevations, giving rise to the trade term of " goose
skin," an

appearance which, according to Professor Wiesner,

by the contraction of the


to the

Gum

the term

internal

being chiefly found

caused

is

mass; while others assert that owing


in

sand}- soil, the impressions which

suggests, are formed by the grains of sand.

The whole

trade seems to be in the hands of a few important local houses,

thoroughly clean and sort the different qualities.

Market the value ranges from 200

to

^"350 per

Animi breaks with an even half


smell nor

taste;

the specific

gravity

dull
is

In

the

who

London

ton.

fracture,

ro68:

and has neither

the melting

point

about 450 Fahr.


Small and irregular supplies, known by the name of

Madagascar Animi,

closely resembling the Zanzibar kind


in

character, reach this country from

Mozambique.

They
i

mixed

are
in

quality

03

and very roughly cleaned

consequently they have a

much lower

value,

although the melting point and specific gravity are almost identical.

These Gums probably have

Of

their origin from the

same species of

considerable shipments

late years

of a so-called Animi have been received

from Demerara.

This

roots

exudation

the

^A ( 4>k

of

Courbaril of British

evidently collected from the old

is

and trunks of

When

period.

and

Resin,

Hymenaa

the locust tree

Guiana,

Fossil

trees.

appearance

has

it

dirt

handsome

very

lumps of io or

earlier

from

cleaned

well

oxidation

much

trees of a

12 lbs. brilli-

antly clear, and containing large numbers

of ants and other insects,

met

are frequently
BRANCH OF HYMEN** COURBARIL WITH ENLARGED*
POD .ABOUT ONE-FIFTH NATURAL SIZE).

with.

The

writer has one

mass of

which must originally have


being thousands

embedded

in

it

of
it

these

fallen

by

it is

upon a nest or colony of

insects

far the largest

many bubbles

silver.

These

piece of Animi

gives an interest to this particular specimen that

Demerara Animi, though pleasing


the ready sale

its

sold at from

200

to

ants, there

of air and water

peculiarities

Gum
is

and the

yet discovered

unique.

to the eye, does not

appearance would suggest, and the price

gradually declining.

lbs.,

and numberless pieces of bark

contains also very

that reflect the light like molten


fact that

Resin weighing nearly 60

this

is

command
therefore

For some time the cleaned higher grades were

240 per

ton, the value of the Resin in practical

36

use being then insufficiently ascertained


the

same

qualities

would

sell

at

at the present time, however,

very

little

more than

half these

Gum

breaks up

figures.

The reason
into

is,

light spirits

that in destructive distillation this

and gases, leaving only a small portion of

matter to assimilate with Linseed Oil

As might be expected
viz.,

that

"030.

it is

The melting

a weak

that larger

it

Gum, we

solid

the formation of Varnish.

in

has a comparatively light specific gravity,


point, however,

think well of

is

its

about 450

and excepting

practical utility,

and more regular supplies are not forthcoming.

37

and regret

The term Copal,


originally to

all

as already mentioned,

Fossil Resins,

is

the generic

name given

and consequently those kinds shipped

from the West Coast of Africa, south

of

Guinea, bear this designation, although as

jgi

a matter of fact they are,


in character, far

more closely allied to

3.

the

Animis

of the East
Coast.

Benguela and Angola Copals, so-called because shipped from

the Portuguese Colonies of these names, are the most valuable of the

AYest

Coast varieties.

Their botanical source

is

still

some doubt, although many endeavours have been made


and verify

it.

There

is

very

little

furnished by species of Copaifera.

38

doubt,

however,

matter of
to

trace

that they are

These Resins are known

to

the natives as " Ocote cocoto " or

" Mucocoto," and are collected principally bv the Bunda Negroes

Benguela and Congo

certain parts of the Angola,

Districts,

in

whence

they are carried to the markets of Ambriz.

Loando, Novo Rodondo, Benguela &c.


In

region

this

Tropical

of

Africa,

eaving the low-lying Atlantic shore and


penetrating due east, directly towards

ground

gradually

rises to the first terraces of

a range of

the

the

interior,

mountains, which run

"^^

It

is

curious

littoral

alone,

but

nevertheless

and more largely

the mountains than elsewhere.


in length,

to 50 or

true,

hilly tract of

that Copal

in the hilly track

The

from the River Zaire on

south, while as to width,

Shortly before these are

the coast.

reached a

littoral

the

fairly parallel to

is

country occurs.

found

in

this

immediately west of

extends some 700 miles

north,

to

Cunene on

the

narrows to a few miles or broadens out

it

more, according as the mountains locally approach or recede

from the coast

line.

This Copalliferous zone


geologically as

we have seen

forest clothes the slopes

it

is

to

as

clearly

marked botanically and

be geographically, for while primeval

and valleys of the mountain range, and a


39

rich

tropical vegetation flourishes


to the coast, only the

on the banks of the rivers running thence

hardier

members

they only as scattered specimens,

by valleys carrying the


There
a

is

rivers, is in fact,

good reason

flora similar to

stunted and dwarfed

The whole

eke out an existence there.

to

of this luxuriant flora

suppose

and

contrive

to

region, except where traversed

an arid desolate sandy waste.

this

was not always

so,

but that

that of the river banks has been gradually blotted

out through the indrifting, by the wind, of sand from the sea shore.

This work of extinction has also doubtless been largely assisted by the

the loose sandy


or no moisture and as a consequence

excessive drought
little

for

soil

cease to give out either blossom or

fruit,

is

capable of retaining

many

plants and shrubs

and therefore

lose

their

power of re-production.

Only one

tree

the

Baobab {Adansonia

digitata)

appears

to

be

able to withstand the severe conditions imposed by nature, but this


thrives there in full splendour, both singly

40

and

in

groups.

Its

presence under

these

conditions

most important,

is

for

it

seems that the geographical distribution of the Baobab marks out the
region within which these Copals occur; and this
altitude,

Copal being never found above 3,500

the Adaiisonia

Owing

is

feet,

true also as to

at

which height

very rarely seen.

to the very great obscurity

source of these

is

which enshrouds the botanical

Benguela and Angola Copals,

problem whether the plant which

is

it

remains an open

or was their source,

is

extinct

or not.

That they are the product of a


plant

is

to

is

certain

that this

be referred to the Sub-order Casalpiniecc of the Natural

Order Leguminosce

is

very probable, and thus the particular species

which produces, or

in a past

genus

highly possible.

It

tree or shrub

Copaijera,

is

epoch produced the Copal, belongs

may be mentioned

Guibourtiana

species

that

named

after

Guibourt, the distinguished French


macist, and described by Dr.

Guibourtia copalli/era

is

M.

~\

^V

Phar-

Daniell as j^V

known

source of Sierra Leone Copal

tm I

Copaifera

to the

to

that

be the

\V

Hymencea

Courbaril furnishes that of South America,


that

Trachylobiam

verrucosum

yields

that

from Madagascar and also the true Zanzibar Animi.

BRANCH OF TRACHVLOBIUM VERRUCOSUM WITH


FRUITS ABOUT HALF NATURAL SIZE.

4i

much

Imperfect and unscientific as


is,

concerning the origin of the Copals,

of the evidence unfortunately


it

yet seems to point pretty

kingdom as

clearly to a certain limited sub-division of the vegetable

the fans

et origo

The

of Copal.

derivation of the Copals of Western

excited the attention of

these the

many

travellers

names of Dr. Welwitsch and

and

Africa has especially

scientists,

and amongst

Sir John Kirk are particularly

prominent.
Oliveira Pimental speaks of Hytnencea verrucosa

verrucosum, under which

it

is

now known

Trachylobium

as the Copal yielding

and Daniell regards Hymenoca Courbaril as the origin of some

tree,

Magyar asserts
Ladislaus luagyar
Laaisiaus

of the softer kinds.


that

name

or

Acacia

recent

nilotica

authorities

-which

the

most

at

most

cons
onsider

only a variety of A. arabica

\\p>

(^&Sj%i

tt4j

^ ;^^

y v
,

^y

produces

Copal, apparently having confounded

Copal with some kind of

Gum

Arabic.

Dr. Klotsch who, with Kirk, maintains that

Animi

is

the East Coast (Zanzibar)

the product of Trachylobium A/ossatti-

bicense,

endeavours

Copal

is

to

to

prove that

be ascribed

Hornemanianum.

As

all

to this tree

African
or

T.

these two species have


BRANCH OF COPAIFERA GUIBOURTIANA

42

since been united under T. verrucosum, referred to above, the opinions

of these two authorities are confirmed so far as Zanzibar

Animi

is

concerned, but as neither of these occur on the West Coast and as most
of the African

Copal comes from thence,

solution of the question

As has been

evident that no true

is

thus offered.

already stated, Daniell refers Copal to the Guibourtia

copallifera or Copaifera
in

is

it

Northern Guinea

is

Guibourliana, so

far at

any rate as that produced

concerned, and further says


"

The exudation from

" consists of soft white tears,

the bark

of the tree at

first

which gradually conjoin into

" isolated masses, and rapidly indurate upon exposure to the


" atmosphere.

Their white hue imperceptibly passes into the

" intermediate tints of green, lemon,

" yellow.
state but

The nodules

and

finally

terminates in

and translucent

are mostly effused in a pure

soon become enveloped by a white bloom similar to that

on certain kinds of plums.

The

tree,

independently of the ordinary

Copal, affords other inferior sorts gathered from the trunks and

branches of young or immature productions.


that different species of Guibourtia

may

not improbable

It is

yield this Resin,

" however at present remain undiscovered."

which

" Considerable

" quantities, the accumulations of years, are regularly washed


" out of the mountain slopes during the rainy season, while a
" moderate quantity

is

collected from the trees themselves."

Daniell gives also the following account of these particular kinds:


" These exudations are thrown out not only from the trunk but from the roots of
" trees also,

if

the reports of negro traders can be credited

" exist in the region where Copal

" ground.

The

natives

also

is

for

no Copalliferous

trees

mostly collected, the Resin being dug out of the

assert that they

43

sometimes meet with vestiges of roots

" from which they detach the excretion."


&c.'

"

Pharmaceutical Journal,

While admitting

1857.

he can

indicate

that Daniell

no

Daniell's

'

Vol. XVI,

Leone Copals are traceable


that

"

Some Observations on Copals,

p. 423.

right

is

in

claiming that

Copaifera Guibouriiana,

to

source

botanical

for

these

Benguela products, nor does he seem, notwithstanding


the district, to have had
for

microscopical

natives

the

any

evident

Angola and

his residence in

practical acquaintance with the matter,

examination

Copal

find

is

it

Sierra

of the roots to which, as he says,

might have indicated the

adherent,

tree

which yielded the Gum.

The

natives themselves are of opinion that Copal

by certain

but that

trees,

during a period of

many

however,

and properties.

apparently succeeded

in

specimens of the virgin product which

whom

believe

this

account

able

soil,

No traveller
securing
this hy-

pothesis necessitates, nor are the Coast Traders

of

some

show

any

Welwitsch investigated

this

to

samples of immature Copal.

On

two

occasions

local statement.

to a

group of

On
trees

the

first

of these, he was taken

(of the natural order

Combretacea:) yielding a blackish

even

resinous.

His

produced

necessary for the Resin to mature,

is

years, buried under the

characteristic appearance

has,

it

is still

conductors

gum not
however
44

to

acquire

its

assured him that this substance, buried, would


into Copal.

much

Botanically, such a source

out to be a

immediate

is

new

On

extremely improbable.

he was shewn a tree (which turned

this occasion

vicinity.

just been collecting

Unable

Copal from the ground

particularly

in the

it

This

at another season.

tantalizing, for he tells us that trees of this species

only occur locally, but always


siderable tracts of country, and
in

Gum

any vestige of Resin on the tree

to find

does not appear that he ever visited

must be

It is

species of Leguminosce, viz., Cynometra laxijlord) by

who had

g-atherers

it

time metamorphose

be regretted that Welwitsch did not follow up further his

to

second venture.

then,

is

in

large

in

it is

numbers and covering con-

very suggestive that these forests

proximity to that part of the

littoral

where, as

we have

seen,

Copals are chiefly found.


Welwitsch, however,
I

hi

t.

m*#

^ wedded

to the idea

Copal

J^s.

fillip

Copal producers

its

for ever

that

is

a verit-

able

Fossil

I,

Kesin,

main-

taining
the trees which were

is

source,

that
are, as

passed away, and

that either they are totally extinct, or exist


II

only

in

a dwarfed and effete posterity.

45

As

evidence of

Amber

Copals to

Gums, and

he points to the great resemblance of these

this,

to the surface modification of original facets of the

to the fact that the

He

several feet.

goes on

to say

Resin

is

excavated from a depth of

" If we consider the large quantity of Copal gathered in Angola and

all

along

" the Coast of Tropical West Africa, we are led naturally to the conclusion that the

" trees yielding

it

could not be scarce

if still

" and widely distributed, and that the


"

enormous and could not

F.

well escape

Welwitsch, M.D., Pnc. Linn.

Although

Copal

Soc. Vol.

found,

is

produced by them must be

Resin

Observations

observation."

on

really not so.

is

it

but

to

In

Copal.

at

first

sight

Southern Guinea the Copal

the exact locality where Copal

in

from

infer

Gum

IX.

yielding tree perhaps never occurs


itself

existence, but ought to be abundant

reasoning of Welwitsch's looks

this

very convincing,

in

this

that

the tree

is

extinct

is

obviously inadmissible.

For
ground,
of

all

this conclusion

to

be accepted an exhaustive search of the

the lower forest covered zone,

in

the Resin-bearing species therein, would have to be accomplished.

That the Copal yielding


interior

that

and a thorough investigation

it

been driven back towards the

by the encroachments of the sand

may

sub-soil,

tree has

is

still

at

exist further inland,

any rate possible.

and

Very

its

drifts

is

Copal be maturing

The

geological

in the

interesting in this connection

are Daniell's remarks on the Sierra Leone Guibourlia


"

pretty evident

changes which have taken place

in

Southern Guinea, con-

" sequent upon that in-drifting of sea sand, which takes place along the greater part

46

" of the

West African

" Leone

district.

shore,

seem

have made greater way here than

to

therefore likely that the former condition of S. Guinea

It is

" to say the condition of things which obtained in S. Guinea

" and the Copal Trees

still

existed

is

Leone

earth,

and

or trees

tree,

may be

to this

still

Copals

altered

its

that

is

Copal was formed

district."

With our present knowledge we can only


Benguela and Angola

when

Sierra

represented, at the present day, by the present

" geological and botanical conditions of the Sierra

a Leguminous

in the

are

positively say these

Resins originally

by long exposure

chemically

added, that

produced by

it is

in

the

producing tree

possible the

exist.

Gums

These
natives,

and disposed of by them

European
on

in

are collected by the

traders.

The work

a kind of partnership.

parties

provided with

and

implements,

is

carried

Prospecting

crude

sacks

to

digging

made

of

the

Raphia leaves or of the bark of the


Adansouia,

f^^t?*

M^f^^ mountain

?"^^7>??
feet, until

Copal

is

found

towards

the

to

depth

of

10

or

12

such pieces as are laid bare by the heavy

rainfalls or earth slips are also

several weeks at a time,

out

range and prod the ground,

sometimes

___

set

picked up.

The diggers remain out

and are often separated

ground has been thoroughly searched the


cleaned, sorted, and brought

down

for days.

When

finds are all put together,

to the port for sale or barter.

47

the

From
larger
to

coast,

this

from half pound

than

one pound

weight are =

in

The Gum

seldom met with.


generally

is

pieces

very

equally

covered with a thick white weather

worn coating, and one particular


description of

due

Angola always has a

to oxidation

and the character of the

been embedded.

many

instances

soil

All have pronounced facets

" goose skin" of the Zanzibar Animi


in

fiery red

is

so hard that

it

incrustation
in

probably

which the Resin has

reminding

with deep furrows

one of the
the coating

can only be removed with a knife,

or sharp instrument.

We

consider them excellent in practical use, and the nearest

value to the Zanzibar kind of

all

the Fossil Resins known.

in

They have

a high melting point, ranging from 425 to 475 Fahr., and a specific
gravity of

-068.

48

by the most
the West Coast varieties was known as
Sierra

Leone Copal

far

far

visited that coast

was

in

it

wards, and

its

in

it

is

character was not then understood, for he

as "Ambergris."

limited use

back as 1678, when Barbot

and found SDme fragments on the beach;

however evident that


described

important commercially, of

In the latter part of the

among some

8th century

it

hospitals for the fumigation of sick

the composition of ointments and plaisters for medical

purposes.

The

Sierra

Leone Company, shortly


49

after the

establishment of

their

factories

in

1794,

commenced

the

regular
jl

exportation of this Resin, but the quantities shipped


to

England

for the first

30 years of this centurv

were exceedingly small, varying from

,^8>ar?

to 10 tons

,3

sal

per annum.

The
paratively

principal
a

limited

producing
one,

district

extending

miles north and west of Sierra Leone.

Gums,

the majority of the Varnish


regularly taken
is

it

is

about

200

Unlike
is

now-s^

the tree, and

directly from

com-

*" r-=--,

unquestionably the natural exudation from the bark of the Copaifera

Guibourtiana.

This tree possesses a dark and luxuriant foliage and flourishes


in

elevated mountainous localities.

called

by the inhabitants of the

Kobo,"
natives
for sores

is

of

The
hilly

Resin,

districts

used by them, as well as by the

Timmel and Sherbro,

as a

remedy

and ulcerations, and also as a water-

tight glazing for the interior of earthen pots etc.

The annual gathering

Gum

of the crop or

takes place about the end of

before the rainy season sets

&>&ik^.

extensively cut

50

and slashed

in.

new

March,

The bark

and the

is

Gum

which flows from the incisions thus made,

is

afterwards collected.

Con-

siderable quantities are also taken from the base and roots of the trees.

strong crust or coating- probably the result of moist heat

setting up oxidation
cult to

is

found on the old

Gum, and

is

extremely

diffi-

remove, although, on the Coast before shipment, some rough

attempt

is

made

at cleaning,

by agitation

in

a lixivium prepared with

the ashes of dry plantain and other stems.

A
Copal,

species of Copal from Sierra Leone,


is

gathered from the beds of

rivers,

known here

the

Gum

being regularly

washed down from mountain slopes by the heavy periodical


That Sierra Leone Copal
valuable

\ilk/g^
'

ports,

is

as Pebble

rains.

generally considered a

Gum,

is

shewn by the im-

which have steadily increased


till,

as

have
stated,

we

before

they

now amount

be regretted that

fields

of earlier origin are not more

diligently searched for, as with larger

and more regular supplies the

It

is

to

consumption would doubtless considerablv increase.


5i

The melting
one, but from

Resin
It is

point

about

360 Fahr.

also useful

not consider a high

extremely pale colour and freedom from acid, this

its

particularly adapted tor

is

we do

at

some

special descriptions of Varnish.

times when employed

conjunction with some of

in

the older and harder kinds of Animi.

The

ro68, and the value from

specific gravity is about

120 per

60

to

ton.

West African

Besides the

already mentioned,

varieties

there

are other descriptions which reach England from time to time, such as

Accra, Congo, Gaboon, and

Loango Copals, but they

known, and are received by manufacturers with


suspicion, that a fair market

quently

difficult

is

hardly open to them

Gums

to describe these

commercial value with anything

That there are large


Fossil Resin which

are

accurately,

and

caution

and

little

it is

or to

consetheir

fix

like precision.

districts

still

such

are so

Africa containing deposits

in

untouched,

is

a fact beyond

doubt,

of
as

on several occasions specimens of new finds have been sent to the


writer for examination

and opinion as

to their practical

utility

and

commercial value.
Alfred

Sir

Moloney,

the present

Governor of Lagos, has given particulars


of an extensive district, yielding
of

quantities

named Ogea.
>j

Yoruba use

fires

and

Fossil

The

Resin

natives of

it

sparingly for

lights,

and powdered,

on the body as a perfume.


2=="

52

Quantities

are

found

under

the

swamp

of

surface

probably

land,

the

accumulations

an

of

earlier age.

A
to

ten tons of a Fossil Resin, previously

unknown

commerce, recently came upon the market, and passed

into the

hands of the
this

some

parcel of

writer.

Ogea Gum.

We

strongly incline to the opinion that

The consignment

question

in

crude, dirty and dusty state, as to be of

the

Gum

is

and above

supplies,

it

would command a ready sale

Professor Oliver, of
this

Kew

at

remunerative prices.

Gardens, declares the tree producing


to

fix

In the Transactions of the Linnasan Society, vol. 20,

F.L.S.,

&c,"

roughly

the exact

certainly not D. thurifera.

it is

" Notes on some

it

with anything like regular

Resin to be a Daniellia, but although unable

species, says

mere nominal value; but as

sifted, that

all,

was

such

arrived in

extremely hard, there can be no doubt, were

cleaned, sorted,

it

page 404,

new economic products by W. Thiselton Dyer,

there

is

F.R.S.,

an interesting account of the discover}* of a

considerable tract of Copal forest,

some 200

miles long, by Mr.

James

Heathcote, of Inhambane, East Africa (who was at the time searching


for the

body

of the late Captain

communicated

Wybrant), particulars of which were

to the Secretary of State in a despatch dated

1882, from H. G. O'Neill,

H.M. Consul

Mr. Heathcote collected six tons of

what became of

it

certainly

it

for
this

June

ith,

Mozambique.

Gum,

but

we never heard

never reached England as Inhambane


oo

Copal,

may

but

have been imported under the name of

possibly

Madagascar or Mozambique Animi, which more


render the sale easier.

Kew

Gardens

tests,

came

to a species of

also

the

at the

who

to the writer,

to the

time were

officially sent

them

after subjecting

Gum

conclusion that the

is

would
from

to practical

allied

Accra Copal, an opinion which was

by

confirmed

Samples

familiar guise

the

authorities

Kew,

at

and

by Sir John Kirk, who pointed out


absence of

entire

the

characteristic

"goose

skin," of the Zanzibar Animi,

that the

odour was entirely

From

the

leaves

and

different.

and

bark,

which

accompanied the Gum, Professsor Oliver |

was enabled

We

Gorskiana.

about 337

The

to fix the species as Copaifera

made

melting

point

Fah.

native

BRANCH OF COPAIFERA GORSKIANA.

name given

and the Zulu name


is

the

some ioo

it

Gum

to the

" Inthlaka."

miles inland,

midway between

in

and the

is

" Stakate," and " Staka,"

Unfortunately this

a belt running parallel


first

opened up.

54

field

of supply

to the coast

range of mountains a distance

which, owing to difficulty of transport, prevents


profitably

L"

it

at present

being

ayyjr,

-w.

<M[_Jf_Jt

Somh J\mlrican

(Tdp/iu;
**

#-*'*

In

some

undeveloped

parts
fields

of

South

America

of Fossil Resins,

there are

It is

much

in

is

irregular

and

quality.

said that there are trees in the country

descriptions of these Copals, which

if

true,

may

and mixed character of most consignments.

still

producing some

account for the soft

Were digging some

few feet below the surface of old forestral ground resorted

much more

large

as shipments of considerable

quantities arrive from time to time, but the supply

varies very

doubtless

valuable quality might in

to,

a very

probability be obtained.

all

Several kinds of Hymencca and Icica are reported to be the parent


trees of these

Gums, but we think

it

is

hardly to be doubted that

most of the South American Copals originate from the first-named


genus, and principally from

H.

Courbaril

55

The above

Some

known.
other

includes

title

the Asiatic Fossil Resins at present

of these are peculiar to themselves, resembling- no

appearance or

in

all

New

so like the Kauri of

character;

on

Zealand that

others
it is

contrary

the

are

almost impossible, at sight,

do so by the

to distinguish them, the greatest adepts being able to

sense of smell only.

There are no Fossil Resins that require more care and experience
in

buying

the

and

using

Manila

than

exceedingly soft that practically they are


resin, others are so

them, while they

hard that great

all

Copals;

little

difficulty is

some

are

so

better than ordinary

experienced

in

have some tricky characteristic, peculiar

particular variety, which causes trouble to manufacturers

melting
to their

who melt

them, even months after the Varnishes are made.

Although called Manilla or Manila Copals from


Manila
there

in

is

the

fact

of

the Philippine Islands being the principal port of shipment,


actually

no Copal produced

in

these Islands.

are really brought from other lands in the

Malay Archipelago, the

best descriptions from the Girantalo district of Borneo,

from Ternate.
56

The Gums

and the worst

These Copals are mostly used on the Continent, particularly

Germany.

The

Amsterdam, on

largest sales are held in

arrival of

the different shipments from the

with

sorted

Dutch

The Gums

East Indian Colonies.

considerable care

many grades

in

are
into

of quality and value,

and are packed

cane

in

mats

or small cases, of native make.

This

at the port of

shipment

can be desired

color

and

and

scheduled

size

is all

that

every variety

ot

being so classified
continuity

that

and

quality

in

and cleaning

sorting

accuracy

of

description can be entirely relied

upon.

Notwithstanding the
Europe,

it

mation

concerning

collecting,

is

still

that

fact

extremely
the

difficult

producing

of

soil

New

viz.:

in

feet

obtain

districts
of,

are

Zealand.

Many

shipped

any accurate

or

we may assume

of

that the

below the surface, probably


to

to

infor-

method

the

and under somewhat similar circumstances

from 375 to 400

These

to

but as gum-pits are spoken

harder sorts are found some few

sandy

large quantities

in

the Kauri

kinds have a tolerably high melting point,


Fahr., with a specific gravity of about 170.

qualities with proper manipulation are

undoubtedly serviceable

the manufacture of certain grades of ordinary Varnishes.

Some
Gums,

for

of the softer descriptions, shipped from Singapore are crop

which the trees are periodically tapped or


57

cut, as is the

case

with

white

Daraars of

the

neighbouring

the

countries.

In

consequence of
'I

'

TJil

il l

point

the melting:

'

''''V*

'

being a low one,


besides other and
objec-

technical
tions, these

are unfit
in

oil

quite unknown, but

use

Varnishes.

The
is

for

the manufacture

of

source of the Manila Copals

Resins

we

botanical

are inclined to

think that they are the exudations ot trees belonging to the Natural

Order Dipterocarpea, and perhaps also

to

or other closely allied Coniferous plant.

hold the position

in

some

species of

Dammara

Commercially they do not

esteem or value of other Fossilized Resins.

58

much

purposes,

practical

was, for

There
picture,
it

sorting of

cannot
If

it

however,

we

is

and as

it

is

fear,

a shadow to this pleasant

sometimes well

be when the Kauri

to anticipate disasters,

fields

begin to give out

stimulated

for the

by the ever increasing

without doubt, rapidly exhausting the known sources of

for

very

many

would be inclined

place an export tax on the

still

exudes Resin,

years, be successfully utilised.

were not akin to heresy

proposition, one

place,

says

important

a supremacy of the market.

supply, and although unquestionably the living tree


this

this

command

excessive production,
is,

therefore

it

behoves those interested to consider what the position

will

demand,

Zealand

comparatively short a time

in so

and

cleaning,

collecting,

produce, as to

fc83ES3>

unknown

New

of

enterprise of our Colonists that they have

for the

brought to such perfection,


the

Gum

ago the Kauri

Fifty years

Gum.

from a peculiarity which

in

these

days to make such a

to suggest that the Colonists should

No
it

59

other Fossil Resin could take


possesses

(entirely its

its

own) of

THE KAURI TREE {Dammara

.-lustra/is/'

more

assimilating- with oil

any other

Gum not

mostly contain strong

an easier temperature, than

true, enter largely into competition with

is

acids

stated, they are treacherous in use

and

objectionable

other

and consequent regret

article,

and

substances,

theory and practice, and resulting often

all

manufactured

the

to

it

we have already

thereby upsetting

at

excepting- even those of a lower melting point.

The Manila Copals


Kauri, but as

and

readily,

to

in

injury

those

who

of

New

employ them.
Kauri Resin
Zealand

exuded from the Pine Tree

originally

(Dammara

aits/ra/is),

province of Auckland,

in

and

at present found solely in the

is

open bush land,

where no vestige of the original trees remain


in

other parts of the Colony living forests of

the Coniferse

produce

tapped,
character,

pentine

still

exist,

sap

and the
of

trees,

when

spongy

soft,

resembling crude or Venice Turqualities are also found, evidently in

varying between the

a semi-matured

state,

sap and the hard

Gum, which product may

in

course of time ripen into Copal of practical


utility.

BRANCH AND CONE OF DAMMARA AUSTRAUS-

The range
kind

of

Resin.

of

value in Kauri

The

quality

too

is

very

is

years ago, was not so pronounced, the


in

perhaps wider than

Gum

diversified
at that time

a partially rough and unpicked state, whereas

and

size

from dust upwards

is

classified

61

in

any other

this,

thirty

being shipped

now every

varietv

and sold under some particular

mark

or brand, so that consumers are enabled to choose qualities at

prices from

There

^20

to

,300 per ton.

great variety of color

is

from

that has evidently been subject in times

or bush

fires

to

gone by

invaluable

white,

clear

dark, almost black

Gum,

to the action of forest

for

certain

descriptions

of Varnishes.

The Gum

is

found a few

by probing with an iron rod


collected
flint

vary

stones,

are found.

in

Diggers explore

until they strike a deposit.

from

size

under ground.

feet

small

of

that

three specimens,

pieces

to

large

pebbles

and occasionally, though seldom, lumps up


Years ago larger masses were

The

less rare,

to

50 pounds

and the writer has

imported some 25 years since, which weigh about

450 pounds, one alone being 220 pounds

probably the

largest ever

discovered.

The Gum digging

industry was originally exclusively in the hands

of the Maoris,

who brought

and barter

other goods, but

for

their

engaged

produce into Auckland to exchange

now some thousands

in

this

occupation,

of Whites are

which,

in

fact,

serves as a kind of refuge for the destitute and

Camps

broken down.

some half-dozen or
and bring

district

so,

who scour

their finds to a central store,

the collecting proceeds

particular field
\

is

till

the

exhausted, or change

of season stops work.

62

the immediate

by an agent of some Auckland

kept often

merchant

are formed by a party of

The
is

cost of carriage

is

at times a considerable item, as the

some

frequently carried for

miles on the backs of the diggers to the

store,

and then conveyed by pack horses

coast,

whence

to

it is

Gum

to the nearest spot

generally taken by boats to

on the

some port and shipped

Auckland.

Although some storekeepers


dispatch,

sort their

Gum

in

a rough

way before

invariably most carefully sifted, cleaned and scraped by

it is

made

the merchants at Auckland, and there packed in strong cases

of

the Kauri pine, each containing about 2^ cwt., branded according to

and shipped

quality,

The Maoris
let

them

on the

to

still

hold the best

Europeans

to

Gum

found

is

beyond three or four


the free exploiting of

England or the United

when they

fields,

States.

and only on rare occasions

do, a royalty of

to

per ton

the customary tax, and the leases seldom run


years.

Government lands are

free,

or at least

them has never yet been questioned, but upon

a lease being demanded of any Government ground, public notice


thereof

is

advertised,

and the

title

put up to auction to be sold to the

highest bidder.

The most

extensive fields are in the district of Kaipara, whence

quite one fourth of the whole supply

what

varies,

poor weak

Gum

is

derived.

being found

in

The

quality some-

the swamps,

and the

stronger kind in the fern-lands.

Altogether up to the present time some 14 or 15 districts

in the

province of Auckland are being worked under lease and otherwise,

by

Gum

diggers

the annual collections represent

an approximate

value of from 400,000 to 500,000.

Kauri

is

extensively employed by the leading manufacturers in

63

every country where Varnish

means

is

made.

attribute to the superior results to be obtained

rather to the fact, to which

manipulate

that

is.

it

we have already

contains acts

in

is

The

is

it

its

use, but

is

easier to

and

at a

lower

probable that the essential

the fusing process as a solvent

being necessary, carbonisation


Varnish

It is

by

alluded, that

unites with Linseed Oil quicker,

temperature than any other Resin.


it

This universal favor we by no

hence

oil

less heat

minimised, and a relatively paler

the product.

exports from

New

Zealand amount already to about 8,000

tons a year, of which quantity more than half

is

consumed

in

the

United States of America.

The

specific gravity

ranges from rojo to ro8o, and the loss

distillation

by the process of manufacture

per cent.

the melting point

to

is

into Varnish, from 15 to 25

fairly high,

460 Fahr.

64

in

varying from 380 Fahr.

>.-.

.-.

i~T~

i3

The White Damars


only

in

of Batavia and Sumatra, which are employed

the manufacture of colorless spirit or turpentine Varnishes,

are commercially of three varieties, viz.

The Batavian

Padang from Sumatra.

\y~*\\

the Singapore and

highest value, on account

:W

the Batavian from Java, and

of

perfect

its

color,

obtains the

and especially

its

(T'JHf

freedom from yielding a milky solution when dissolved, a


in

the other kinds.

Thev

are

all

exudations of the

being regularly cut

j^" 260 Fahr, and


Besides
y

,','

fault inherent

there

are

and

dark

W^'^^r^m

these
several

black

descriptions

Damar

are

the
is

trees

about

8o.

Damars,

tapped

incisions in

of

collected

the producing

which

vertical

about

White

orientalis.

Their melting point

supplies.

specific gravity

India,

of

for

Dammar a

trees

by

the bark

close to the base of the trunk,


fire

being then set to the

and the Resin allowed

tree,

to melt

and accumulate.
BRANCH OF SHOREA R06USTA.

BRANCH AND CONE OF OAMMARA ORIENTALIS.

65

Gums

These

obtained

are

from the Sal tree (Skorea robusta),


the

Piney Varnish tree

tndica)

and probably other

plants.
is

The Black

velly district,

the

allied

Vt>

the Tinni-

in

from the Canarium

point,

turpentine,

ij|

Kola Damar

very low

All are of a

strictum.

for

or

collected chiefly

melting-

(Vateria

soluble

freely

in

and consequently useless

manufacture

of

oil

Varnish

indeed they are commercially unknowr


in

Europe, where they would only have

the value of

common

employ these Damars

resin.
in

the

The

BRANCH OF
CANARIUM STRICTUM.

natives of India, however, largely

manufacture of bottle wax, and low

grade turpentine Varnishes.

66

speaking, neither Mastic nor the

Strictly
in

the category of

Fossil

or Semi-Fossil

Damars can be placed

Resins, but as they are

indispensable for certain special purposes, they are worthy of mention

amongst the Varnish Gums.


Mastic, the exudation of the Mastic or Lentisk tree
lentiscus,
It

natural order Perebinthasa)

made

oozes from cuts

tears

upon the stem.

Island of Chios.

consumed
for the

in the bark,

The

best

and palest

purpose of beautifying the

in

Gum.

and upon exposure hardens

Turkey and the East, where

in

a recent or crop

fact,

qualities

come from

in

the

Considerable quantities of the finest description are

Small parcels also reach


places

in

is.

{Pistachia

it

is

used,

by mastication,

teeth.

this

country from Morocco and other

the Mediterranean, but the quality

is

generally inferior and

yellowish.
It is in

limited

employed by

demand

artists to

in

preserve

Europe
oil

67

making a

paintings

readily soluble in alcohol or turpentine,

removed, when discolored by age or

for

its

dirt.

etc.,

colorless Varnish

and as the Resin

Varnish can be with

is

facility-

small

Although

shipments of

Copals occasionally arrive from

manufacture of

The almost
description,
selves,

to the

list

of Resins used in

invariable mistake with

that the Resin

feet beneath the

Gums,

The

is

first

consignments of any new

either collected from the trees them-

Consequently we receive new and

ground.

useless for Varnish

making and

Fossil

practically valueless, in lieu

than

five

is

always a demand.

Resins have been subjected to analysis by

Chemists, with varying results.


distinct

Unverdorben professed

varieties

in

the

Carbon, 79-89; Hydrogen, 9-00; Oxygen,

Kane,

in

many

to detect

East African species,

according to Ure the ultimate constituents of Copal are

whilst

the

and turpentine Varnishes.

of the hard and fossilized kinds, for which there

less

English markets,

or from the immediate surface, instead of being sought for

some few
soft

is

oil

and

new

districts

the foregoing constitute practically the

Animis

Bastard

so-called

no

and

in;

dividing them into three degrees, gives the following

as the relative constituents of each

New Copal-

Fossilized Copal

Animi-

C40

68

O3

O
C40 H33 O
C40

H31

H32

A
who

more recent

states that
"

authority, however,

is

Dr.

Edmund

J.

Mills, F.R.S.,

Whatever the proximate composition of the natural Resins may

" effect a series of polymers of a body C20


"further division."

In the

Journal of

the Society

same paper Dr.

experiments

in the

H30 O2

be,

they are in

a formula that does not admit of

Chemical Industry, April, 1886.

Mills gives the results of

some

interesting

Potash absorption of Resins, a subject well worthy

of further research.
Generally,

we

\
W
?*

are inclined to think that the degree of hardness

should be the principal consideration


the commercial value of

may be

all

in

estimating

Resins, and as a rule

it

taken that the higher the melting point, the


older and

We

more

fossilized

is

the

Gum.

cannot conclude these

re-

marks on the Fossil Resins without


expressing our thanks to Mr. John

R. Jackson, Curator of the


at

has

the

Royal Gardens,

kindly furnished

information on the subject as the Gardens afford.

69

us

Museums

Kew, who
with

such

'Wjk

*if-

-te^C&Sfc

i^wniwtni*iwiM>uia
....

MMMprt^WMtfiWWiWiWi tuaiiwiwi'iw

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Please view our other products at www.theclassicarchives.com, or our ebay pages
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ADVPlans, LLC.

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