antique wood finish HELP needed

Last spring we purchased a Gothic revival cabinet, beautifully carved walnut est age at turn of century from Belgium. It has a dark shellac? finish that in the last few weeks has started to disappear in spots and in several spots it has turned into a silver metalflake looking finish and actually bled from above to form a horizontal 'run' in the finish below it. It is so strange, I have never seen anything like it! I checked the internet for finish problems and found no help there, I am praying one of you may have an answer as this old dark finish is turning grayer at a rampant pace. I can furnish pictures if necessary. One other thing.... I have not oiled or touched the original finish in any way, as we want this to look very old with its nuances- but we didn't expect it to turn gray and lose the finish. 3 days ago I applied mineral oil to a side panel, it did not help. I applied orange glow to another panel, it also did not help. Help!
Robert
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Are you in Belgium, or was this imported to the USA ? It would be a rare piece that was imported with its original finish untouched, so it could have anything on it now.
Whereabouts are you ? How cold/damp/dry is your winter? What conditions is the piece kept in?
I'm still having a little trouble reconciling "Gothic revival", "walnut" and "finish", but I guess that's me being Anglo-centric and thinking too much of Pugin.

Can't comment much without them. Either put them on the web, post them to news:alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking or mail some to me and I can post them there for all to see.

As a very wild guess, it's a new finish applied before sale and it either doesn't like the old finish beneath, or it's having a hard time with your local climate.
--
Smert' spamionam

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