Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Hmmm....the more I look at the dark part of the handle, the more I think it is some of that dark spotty grain, and was specially selected to be placed this way on this handle, to form a band around the middle. A nice piece of work, actually. The colour of the wood on the handle is not quite the same as that on the sheath, but that doesn't mean they're not the same specie, or that multiple species may show this.....it looks like a fungus.
You work in a museum. You mayby don't put that white writing on things anymore (?), but maybe you can tell us what it is and how to remove it?