First of all, thank all of you for your input and prompt responses. I have read and appreciate all of them. Second, I apologize for wasting the time of those requesting more specificity regarding exactly what I was intending to "preserve" it from. The ambiguity was intentional as I was hoping for some random, more "out of the box," approaches. Speaking of which, thank you epicfail48 for yours. I rather enjoy the idea of casting it, but haven't looked into pricing as I assumed it would be too expensive.
As for the piece, I am really only trying to prevent it from drying out, cracking more, and eventually crumbling to pieces. Preserving as much of the natural color as I can would be nice, but not entirely necessary if I could find a product that would accentuate its features. I have thrown trusses and built decks, so I am aware of stains, lacquers, and sealants but I'm just not sure if one certain thing would be best in this particular scenario.