Where you put on layers of different colors and sand through the layers.

Like this
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I dont think that is swirled, it doesnt look right.

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rednwhiteblues might be on to something there ... 2 colorcoats, the top being thinly applied, then sanded judiciously in patterns to show the lower colorcoat.

I'm thinking that instead of using a block sander, to reveal the lower coat, the painter probably used a fine grit, free-hand style. *shrugs*

It is an interesting effect.