You can find some information on the older Sablière's machines , along with illustrations by Daniel Rebour, along with other scatterings of published words and images, mostly in French. But while today the Sablière name is not as readily recognised as the names of Singer and Herse, it is nevertheless recognised in collector circles. And wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into. Well, you can't be too modest or shy when it comes to these things. Look for a stamp indicating a serial number which can then be researched. As far as the father, Charles, it is slim pickings.

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" At this point, I should have slammed my laptop shut. In the absence of such an easy tell (which, alas, is the case with the frame in question) there are other visual clues.

Specifically he is known as an early adapter of fillet brazed construction, and for his exceptionally lightweight machines. Well, our mutual friend - the one who got us together - challenged me as follows: To fit the Sablière frameset with period-correct components of the sort the builder himself would have used, and see how the result compared to my 2012 Seven Axiom - or, a typical carbon fibre bike seen at club rides today, for that matter. Of course, to fit the frameset with period-correct components, it must be known what the 'correct' period is. Often the date itself will be part of that serial number, or stamped next to it.

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Nowadays, you are more likely to find a bicycle made by his son, Andre Sablière, who picked up the torch in the 1970s.

Now, what, or who, is this Sabliere, you might ask? Because Charles Sablière of Lyon was one of the lesser-known constructeurs - custom builders of fine racing, randonneuring and cyclotouring bicycles - in the heyday of such machines in 20th century France.

Perhaps I can barter hand-knit hats again for components and coaching sessions?

That the frame has been identified by a reputable party as a genuine Sabliere makes it rare and interesting.

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Still, its lack of markings makes it difficult to prove both this, and its age, definitively - which is frustrating, but also exciting, as it infuses the project with some degree of mystery.