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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