Kauri resin

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Kauri tre Agathis australis


A medium-hard variety of Copal resin obtained from the kauri pine, Agathis australis, native to New Zealand. Kauri can be collected as a resin or found in fossilized deposits, although both sources became scarce prior to 1930 due to zealous collection methods. Kauri is a pale yellow to reddish brown resin with a pine-like odor. It was widely used in the early 20th century for floor and furniture varnishes (Mayer 1969). Kauri was also used in adhesives, enamels, and linoleum.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Agathis australis; copal kauri (Esp.); kauri gum; kauri copal; New Zealand gum; cowrie; kowrie gum


  • Combustible, burning with a bright flame, dense smoke and strong smell.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in alcohols, ketones and turpentine.
  • May fluoresce white under short-wave UV light.
Melting Point 182 - 232 C
Density 1.05 g/ml

Resources and Citations

  • 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. 431
  • 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
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997