A soft variety of copal resin obtained from the Agathis dammara trees native to the Philippines and Indonesia. Manila copal is a diterpenoid resin composed primarily of polycommunic acid. Copals were used in the 18th and 19th centuries for varnishes and resin/oil media. Manila copals were also used in many fixative recipes.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Agathis dammara; manilla copal (Br.); copal de Manila (Esp.); copale di Manila (It); Manila resin; manilla
Soluble in ether, methanol, and ethanol. Partially soluble in amyl alcohol. Insoluble in water. Most copals fluoresce white in short-wave UV light. Saponification number = 178 Acid number = 128.
Hazards and Safety
Combustible, burning with a bright flame, dense smoke and strong smell.
K.van den Berg, J.van der Horst, J.Boon, "Recognition of Copals in Aged Resin/oil Paints and Varnishes" in ICOM Preprints, Lyon, 1999. p.855-861.
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 227; synonym Boea copal
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
- Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "Copal." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 14 Apr. 2004 .
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000
- Website address 1 Comment: "Copal: An Immature and Controversial Resin" at www.emporia.edu/earthsci/amber/copal.htm