how can I remove very old masking tape and residue from antique wooden box?

I have a 1940's wooden box with nice finish that was used to store a scientific instrument. The problem is that someone kept taping over the lid to keep the box closed while in storage. As a consequence, there are about 7 pieces of masking tape across the lid to box surface in various stages of decay. Is there any way I remove the tape and residue and keep the finish and wood intact? Thank you.
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Try Goo Gone. Wipe a little bit in an inconspicuous place just to make sure but it's safe with most finishes.
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On Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:23:20 -0400, J. Clarke

One good use for WD40 too just soak it and let it sit. After a couple days of soaking the tape will generally just about slide off.
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On 3/24/18 8:08 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

Couple days!? Clare, I've found that most goo removers do it in a few minutes.
Perhaps you need to be a little less patient with WD-40 next time. I bet it works a lot faster than you think.
FWIW for anyone lurking, many cooking oils and sprays will do the trick as well as goo-gone.
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wrote:

GooGone damagess some finishes, and you can scratch dried tape off with wd40 pretty quickly - but if it is soaked real well the tape slides of - no damage to the shelac or laquer finish.
I likely left it a lot longer than required - but it worked.
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On Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 7:59:57 PM UTC-4, JBI wrote:

Test some lighter fluid in an inconspicuous place. Ronsonol cigarette light fluid, not barbecue lighter fluid.
Soaks through the paper and leaves no residue.
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On Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 4:59:57 PM UTC-7, JBI wrote:

There have been a lot of different masking tapes since 1940. Solvents that won't harm the wood-box finish include waterless hand cleaner, and maybe (odorless) paint thinner, but NOT alcohol (it would take off shellac). Anything brittle can be carefully scraped, a razor scraper might be useful, just control the edge so it does't dig into the wood.
Boiled linseed oil is a safe way to cover any dull spots, and a little french polishing can make an old finish new again.
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On Sat, 24 Mar 2018 19:59:54 -0400

how will you keep it closed without the tape
the tape lends it character
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I would start with olive oil if the antique is of real value (financial or sentimental).
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