Cherry gum

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A transparent, water soluble mucilage obtained as exudations from all species of cherry trees as well as other Prunus species trees (pear, peach, plum, apricot, almond). Cherry gum contains Arabinose, Galactose, Mannose, Xylose, and glucuronic acid. Fruit gums were used occasionally as binders for watercolor paints for at least a thousand years (Mayer 1969). It has also been added to egg or casein emulsions to increase glossiness (Doerner 1934).

Synonyms and Related Terms

gomme de cerisier (Fr.); goma de cerezo (Esp.); gomma di ciliegio (It); bassora gum

Physical and Chemical Properties

Slightly soluble in water; swells to form as a gel.

Resources and Citations

  • R. Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row, New York, 1969.
  • M.Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1934.
  • 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
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • John S. Mills, Raymond White, The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, Butterworth Heineman, London, 2nd ed., 1994
  • Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies, Paul Nicholson, Ian Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000 Comment: R.Newman, M.Serpico, "Adhesives and Binders"