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Sealing Wax - Summary

Hello All -

Lots of wonderful responses to my sealing wax question have spilled into my
mail box. Below are the recipies I received.

Thanks, folks!

        - Anarra

Anarra asks about sealing wax.

Attached is a period recipe that was posted to the Rialto.  There was some
discussion about what the "clear turpentine" meant; it was decided that it
probably meant the gummy resin of the tree, rather than the modern liquid.

begin attached message ================================

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

A while back, someone or other was asking about period sealing wax.
As I mentioned in another post a minute ago, I've been investigating 
a new-to-me 16th C cookbook (John Partrige, The Treasurie of Commodious 
Conceipts and hidden Secrets, 1573), and found the following.

        To make red sealyng wax.

        Take one pound of Wax .iii. ounces of cleare Tyrpentyne in 
        Sommer, in Winter take fowre: melte them together with a
        soft fyre: Then take it from the fire and let it coole:
        Then put in Uermylion berye fynely grounde, and Salet Oyle,
        of each an ounce, and mix them well together, and it is 
        perfect good.


Sealing wax -- someone posted a really good recipe for this a
while back; you might check the Rialto archives for this.

The Rialto archives can be found on the Web at 

Wax for seals is a combination of two parts bees wax and one part 
canuba wax, with pigmentts added for color.

Wax for sealing bottles would be something like 2 parts bees wax to one 
part petroleum jelly.  Not perfect, but similar to what would be 
obtained by using bees wax and lard.  I can think of better ways to do 
this sort of thing.

Greetings from Fiacha,

Somewhere I have a sealing wax recipe that I took off the Rialto some 
years ago.

Shellac is the main ingredient but, being brittle, is tempered with 
rosin, turpentine or beeswax. Coloring agents may be added.

        Heat four parts of shellac, gently. Once melted, add two parts of
        turpentine and one part of rosin. For red add two parts vermillion.
        For blue add one part of Prussian blue. For green add a half a 
        part of yellow chrome, one part Prussian blue and one part of
        magnesia. Do not add the coloring agents dry, rather make them into
        a paste with a little turpentine first. At all times stir the mix
        well so that it does not stick to the container and burn.

        When the mix is even, pour it onto a marble slab in a long strip 
        and roll it into a rod while it cools (use a smooth wood block
        to avoid burnt fingers).

        If the resulting wax does not stick to your paper, melt it down 
        again and add upto two parts of beeswax and try again.

Shellac may be obtained from woodworkers supply houses. Use the cheapest 

Rosin can be found at music stores, sporting goods houses or leaking out of
pine trees (in which case you need to let it dry out for a summer).

Vermillion, Prussian Blue, Chrome Yellow and White Magnesia can be obtained
from paint stores or artists supply houses. Vermillion and Chrome Yellow 
may be bio-hazards and you may want to find substitutes (or take extreme 
care that they are not ingested).

Don't do this over an open flame in case the vapors decide to ignite.

The marble slab is not essential but the alternative is to use a mould, 
in which case you need to worry about the wax sticking to the mould. The 
more beeswax you use the stickier the result.

Shellac and rosin being natural products are not likely to be consistent 
across batches. Expect to juggle the recipe each time.

The above is a free paraphrase of something written by Tom Perigrin.


:Well, Sealing wax, if I am correct was just melted beeswax candles, 
:melted, then dripped in the correct area, then cooled slightly and 
:pressed with the seal...

They may look like little candles, but they contained a resin so that they 
did not melt without intention. After all, a candle impression would melt 
off the area to be sealed with just warm weather. Sealing wax, however, does
not. (I don't have a recipe though, although I have seen them before on the 
Rialto as well as in books. Now if I could just remember *which* book....)