Here's an old fiddle that needed a little TLC. (It didn't want no scrubs, just gentle solvents...) It's been resting for decades following a celebrated career acting as accompaniment to dances and parties.
The fiddlin' days are long over, but it deserves to look its best. There's a serious split under the tailpiece. It's covered in a mixture of rosin and... something else. I believe at some point in the 1940's or 50's someone decided to make it shiny by brushing on a nice coat of boiled linseed oil. The problem with linseed oil is that it oxidizes for decades and eventually turns coal black. It took quite a lot of elbow grease to lift it off the original varnish using judicious applications of acetone to melt a little bit before quickly rubbing it away with clean cloth. A polish with some spirit varnish and it's ready to go back on display!