Punic wax

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A processed Beeswax that was used in encaustic paintings. Punic wax wax probably made by combining beeswax with Soda lime to produce a waxy soap. Repeated washings in hot water removed any excess caustic. Experiments conducted in Berlin to recreate an ancient recipe, yielded flakes of a hard brittle wax that melted between 73-75C (163-167F) (Wehlte 1975).

Synonyms and Related Terms

cera púnica (Esp.); cera punica (It); Carthagian wax; eleodoric wax

Resources and Citations

  • R.White "The Application of Gas-Chromatography to the Identification of Waxes", Studies in Conservation, 23:57-68, 1978.
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Kurt Wehlte, The Materials and Techniques of Painting, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1975

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