Story: Kauri gum and gum digging



One of the prime uses of kauri gum was in varnish. In the late 1800s, it had two distinct advantages over other resins. It held its colour better and, because it had a lower melting point, it was easier and safer to handle. By the early 1900s, much quality furniture – such as this table – was being finished with kauri gum varnishes. Only the highest grades of gum were suitable.

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The Kauri Museum, Matakohe

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Kauri gum and gum digging - Origin and early uses', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 May 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007