Originally Posted by blue lander
Whoops, thought of a couple more questions: do you think the blade is crucible steel or blister steel? Should I etch the blade or should I just coat it in museum wax and call it a day?
It is a trade blade from Solingen which has nothing to do with those kinds of steel or forging, and a true antique with probably an amazing history. It is not a museum showpiece, but that blade has well earned that dark patination.
In my opinion, out of respect, I would suggest stabilizing and only light cleaning with WD40 or comparable. It is terrible to see the garish, over cleaned items often seen these days which have been stripped of the valuable patina and its inherent charm.