Thought to be of French manufacture - though as yet no evidence exists to support the notion - this heavily-built lathe carries the digits "1938" cast into the bed, a number that might well be the date of the lathe's manufacture. However, its design, specification and styling all suggest that it could have been made as late as the 1950s.
With a massive, all-geared headstock, a bed with wide, shallow angle V as the front way, a Norton-type quick-change gearbox, third-rod control of the electrical stop, start and reverse and what might be a CamLock fitting on the end of the spindle, this was an up-to-date machine and highly effective for heavy-duty work.
If you have an Abeille lathe, the writer would be most interested to hear from you.
High-resolution picture - may take time to open