i was asked:
cut and snipped...
1) In the old days, carving the lugs, etc., was seen as the
evidence of handwork. Especially if each bike is different,
you got a truly individual design.
2) Once pre-made "ornate" lugs like the Nervex came out,
there was little point in doing ornate bikes - especially in France.
3) So ornate curls that don't do anything may have been of
questionable value?
4) By comparison, you may get an Herse with every part
beautifully integrated, looking absolutely wonderful from 5 feet,
but then you zoom in, and wouldn't it be nice if the seatstay caps
lined up a bit better on top of the seat lug?

i replied to the questions in order:
1) as we've read, in the old days, even the pioneer
of ornate lugs, hetchins, was pre-fabbing their designs,
either mechanically by stamping , or by casting them, as
early as the 1950s. the history text states that it was
very rare to 'take a lugset and carve a design into it'.
that was the exception, not the rule, at the company
best known for hand-cut ornate lugwork.
2) as it goes, "ornate" lugs a 'la Nervex ref.49s were
latecomers to the party.
3) BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i always wondered why
there's such a focus on 'them there 3 fancy-ish lugs'.
once you get past the '...3 lugs', there is an entire
frame to reckon with. are the wheels correctly spaced
apart? how is the rider's center of gravity? will the frame's
descending manners inspire confidence? is the frame
'straight'? will the frame allow the parts hung on it to
perform efficiently? jeeeez. there is no much more to
'all this' than just 3 freaking lugs, or 'lugwork'.
4) alas. imperfection is perfection.
chester, ct