This morning, I hoofed it to my workshop for some rehab. It turned out that under the cigar-tar, the entire thing had been wrapped in gold-flecked contact paper:
It's barely visible, but it was super dramatic at the time.
I peeled the crap off, stripped the paint, sanded it for consistant texure, and gave it a coat of paste wax.
I am quite happy with my new-n-free arts-n-crafts armoir: