I would agree with Charles Andrews that this was a pretty high price for this particular bike.
>From a distance, it has all the right bits to be a good model (RH cranks, stem), braze-on for Jos on the seat tube and front carrier. Condition was OK for the age and wouldn't have been a problem to me. Nice paint and lining. Rear mudguard with alloy adaptor bit.
The problem (to my eyes at least it is a problem) was the frame. I have never yet seen a Rene Herse with this type of lugs. There has also been no or hardly any work done on thinning down the lugs. So to my eyes a frame way inferior to usual Herse standards. It would be interesting to see what the tubing is, no sign of a Reynolds decal, is it Speedy? What does the bike weigh?
But why the "expensive" details on a "cheap" frame?
I don't really know... Serial number might help. Is it a 109?
I know of a Maury frame that was sent into the Herse workshop to be fitted out as an RH, I have copies of all the paperwork and correspondance with Rene Herse describing the process. Fully fitted out with RH parts, RH braze-ons added all over, but under the Rene Herse clothes the lugwork is typical Maury (the bike is still in the original owners hands, in excellent condition, and is a very interesting machine).
Maybe something similar happened here with a lesser frame? This would be my idea of the most likely explanation. Or did Herse just make a cheaper bike in totally atypical style (but then why the "expensive" bits. The Federal models were ALL cheap to keep price low, cheap parts, cheap frame) ? Or did the owner ask for this type of lugs (I believe this is Jan's idea on the subject)?
It's certainly a "different" RH.