Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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carnauba wax

A yellowish-white or green, sticky exudation on the leaves, berries and stalks of the carnauba palm (Copernicia cerifera), found in South America, and especially Brazil. It is believed to consist largely of myricyl ceretate and myricyl alcohol (C 29 H 59 . CH 2 . OH). It is used to impart a high gloss to leathers that are not to be glazed, and by bookbinders to polish the edges of books after gilding and burnishing through paper. The wax imparts a high gloss to the edges and is preferred to beeswax by some as it is less likely to streak. Carnauba wax has a softening range of 83 to 84° C., which makes it especially suitable for use in very hot climates. (195 , 291 )

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