Here's a link to an article from Old House Journal on dealing with calcimine...

http://www.oldhousejournal.net/magaz...Ceilings.lasso

I agree with CHYNA that the shiny layer could be paint. Here's another Old House Journal article on paints. It mentions that enamel paints were popular during the era your home was built...

http://www.oldhousejournal.com/npsbriefs2/brief28.shtml

Hope they help!