Ready to finish Lane Waterfall Chest


I have prepared a 1946 Lane Cedar Chest for finishing. I don't know what finish is the best. I have done some research on the web and the only thing alluding to the original process was a posting that Lane used a 12 step process involving nitrocellulose laquer. When I looked into the products available of that type, it mentioned applying another step before the lacquer. There doesn't seem to be alot of information on the original process that they used beyond that. If anyone has an expert opinion on the best way to finish one of these chests, I would appreciate it. My chest is exactly identical to the Sweetheart chest shown in this advertisement from 1946, and I think the woods are burled walnut and mahogany veneers?
I would really appreciate any advice as I don't want to ruin this piece's value.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Original-Ad-LANE-HOPE-CHEST-1946_W0QQitemZ200014460664QQihZ010QQcategoryZ35QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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I refinished a solid cedar chest about 50 years ago for my wife that her father had made. I was concerned about "overcleaning," so simply used steel wool and some mineral spirits to clean off "dead" finish to get a dull finish. I then refinished with about 3 thin coats of urethane varnish. Still looks great. The issue is NOT to take much other than the "dead" finish off, and not to harm the veneer.
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Thanks, professorpaul, for teh information regarding possible "overcleaning" as well as the finish you used. That helps alot. professorpaul wrote:

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