After an epic struggle against filth and rust, some cleaning, a touch of paint removing jelly, lots of sanding and soft-moderate swearing...
The bare frame: (well, in fact these pics were taken before the final water-sanding process so it's not yet silk-smooth...)
Striping paint of a frame reveals some of the builder's most hidden secrets. Thus, in this case, I can say that the brazing (bronze, not silver) was superb: no appreciable bulges, no bronze overflow, no gaps between lug and tube... a master's work.
Obviously this was not a "normal" production frame. Moreover, the whole frame had been chromed! Chroming is an expensive practice (though it is usually more difficult trying to chrome just a part than the whole set). The chromed surface is damaged here and there by rust and... by paint removal (now look, how could I know!!).
Anyway, the frame is now ready for the paint job. I will try to reproduce the original colour pattern to make the restoration as precise as possible (this bike was ridden in real pro races!)
Just one problem arising: the chromed for was not painted, just chromed, and if one is to be true to the bike's original look, well... anyone knows where to apply for re-chroming? (lower price tag first, remember)