"Old time" look on hand rail

I have a small, partial hand rail that ends at a newel post. (Long, story, but original owners chopped up stairwell of 130-year-old house to create a bathroom, leaving just a small part of the original handraild sticking out.
I need to install a handrail on the other side (safety). I want to get the same "old time" shine on the other handrail. What is this finish? What's the modern day equivelant?
It's stained dark, then coated in something shiny that looks inpenetrable---and it's not poly.
Thanks.
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Spar varnish perhaps? Very likely. Especially since you're asking about the 'shine'. (Verify with the oldtimers.) http://www.sutherlandwelles.com/marine.htm

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On Sat, 2 Aug 2003 08:09:08 -0400, "Michael Baugh"

I'd post this to rec.woodworking for more professional advice.
There are lots of finishes that might be close. Get some advice over there and start experimenting.
Bob
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out.
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it is probably lacquer.
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