Ordie. You have a gem. Preserve it with Renaissance Wax. You can buy it at a Woodcraft store. Developed by the British Museum, it is used by museum curators worldwide and is PH neutral. It may be applied to both wood and metal. Take some closeup pictures too and get a signed letter from your MIL attesting to its provenance. If you have a kid, (s)he'll be glad you did.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!