I decided to experiment with producing are really antiqued finish. By adding successive layers of oil varnish tinted with artist's pigment I built up the surface and topped it off with a couple of coats of shellac-based spirit varnish (fortified with a small amount of sandarac resin).
I polished this surface using Micromesh sanding discs backed with a felt block. This was done dry, with the intent to abrade through the layers in certain areas to replicate wear. I used several coats of a microcrystaline wax compound, both tinted dark and left natural. This highlighted little dings and scratches on the edges and really gave the appearance of age.
I was pleased with the results. There are no photos of the process of installing the soundpost. (A challenging operation given that there were back braces to work around - not something found in violins!) With the fittings and strings installed it looks like a real antique. I need to get a bow and try it out. Pizzicato produces a quiet buzzy tone. I'm anxious to hear it in full voice. I wasn't satisfied with the original pearwood pegs, (the string holes seem gigantic and I was worried about their longevity!) I turned new ones using rosewood for the shafts. I'll also have to make a case, as they aren't a stock item.