Animal wax

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Any of several waxes obtained from animal sources. The typical animal wax, such as from a mammal, contains no glycerides, and is found in small deposits in many parts of the animal. These waxes contain sterols (Cholesterol) and other long-chain alcohols. Also included in this section are the waxes from insects such as the lac insect which produces Shellac. Lac wax is a hard strong wax which resembles Carnauba wax. Chinese insect wax is a good substitute for Beeswax.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cera de origen animal (Esp.); cera animale (It)

Examples include: spermaceti; lac wax; ear wax; Chinese insect wax; stearic acid; wool wax; lanolin; shellac wax


Properties of Natural Waxes

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Matte Paint: Its history and technology, analysis, properties and conservation treatment, Eric Hansen, Sue Walston, Mitchell Bishop (ed.), J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, Vol. 30 of AATA, 1993

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