Hi Sajen, yep nice one. Saw it but isnt my stuff. I bet the handle is 'twine' covered with black paste (resin; authentic).
To remove the shellack I would use paintremover; a tin of fluid acid that only reacts on the chemical lack but not with the organic material! Doesnt cost much and is bit acid to the skin (!). Apply richly to the handle >no worries< and wait (sometimes it take a while before working) and perhaps best is to whipe it off carefully with tissue in combi with an extra soft toothbrush for the holes etc. Or wash it quickly off with hot water (n toothbrush) and dry immediately after with tissue. Water will probably take more patine off than the 'dry tissue-whipe' method.
Good luck. Btw been sawing that billiardball already?!? he he he. Would love to see you do that!