History – Busato Guitars

    History – Busato Guitars

    In these further article(s) of the Busato-series we focus and briefly describe the details and features of original Busato-Guitars with exact description and images.

    “Busato”-Guitars were named after their maker Bartolo Barnabe “Pablo” Buzatto (renamed later to Busato (BB), and were one of the first acoustic Jazzguitars that have been “strongly inspired” by the original Selmer-Guitars of luthier Mario Macafferri.

    History - Busato Gitarren
    History - Busato Guitars

    Bernabe Bartolo Busato (image left), born 1902 in Chiuppano (Italy) started making guitars around 1925 when he arrived in Paris/France and worked until shortly before his death in 1960. Bartolo Busato died at the 4th of Juli 1960 in Champigny sur Marne/France. (Photo courtesy of ©Michael Dregni)

    In the late 1920ies many italian immigrants had come to Paris. As one of the first it was Vincenzo Jaccobacci, an instrument maker from Catania (one of the poorest regions in Sicilia), who arrived around 1920 in Paris. In the following years he encouraged many other to do the same, inviting them to work for him with solid work contratcs.

    Amongst those who came were many nowadays famous luthiers, names as Jacques Favino, Bernabe Busato, Pierre Anastasio, Carbonel, Olivieri, Gerome (Philippe Moneret), Antoine Di Mauro, Jacques Castelluccia, Virente-Barcelonia, Burgassi, Couesnon and many more.

    That said it was to happen that from the early 1920ies until the late 1970ies many other sicilian luthiers had built those wonderful Gypsyjazz guitars.

    Many of those sicilian luthiers and instrument makers had studied at the well known “Academy of instrument building” in Catania (Sicilia) and thus were well experienced and educated on crafting and had detailed knowledge on sound and building techniques of instruments.

    There are truely not many informations about Busato and his workshops. Busato produced Guitars since early 1920ies until the late 1950ies.

    Even for a long time it was doubted that there had ever been a person called “Busato” at all or if there was really a workshop with that name at all, as there were different adresses he resided in and a couple different workshops worked for his name as well.

    History - Busato Guitars

    Bernabe Bartolo Busato produced instruments and guitars from 1925 until the late 1950ies. There aren´t many secured infos on his workshops.

    Meanwhile it is known that these different adresses were Busato used to work in really existed.

    One of his known workshops was in Paris/France at the Rue Orgemont from 1934-1943. And later on there was another second one at the Cite Griset No.4 inside the 11th District in Paris. These were the first places Busato ran has workshops.

    History - Busato Guitars

    At the end of 1943 he completely changed place with his workshop from the Rue d’Orgemont into the Cité Griset 4 inside the 11th Parisian Arrondissement.
    Additionally in 1945 Busato opened again another third production-workshop in the Avenue de Coeuilly 73 in Champigny sur Marne, outside of Paris, where he used to life as well.

    In the beginning of his business he had employed around 20-30 co-workers and guitarmakers, in the best years he even had up to 60(!) persons which made all kinds of instruments for him in his different workshops.

    Many people even dont know that, but at the same time Busato built guitars, he also produced and sold many other instruments under his name like Mandolins, Banjos, Drums and Upright-Basses that he mostly let make at his own workshops by his co-workers (see images below, Busato catalog from around 1940).

    There were even Busato-Akkordeons that have possibly been made on his order from another italian company (Castagnolo or Fratelli Crosio), but which have after been sold under his name from his workshops and musicstore. So these instruments really existed which is certain today.

    Many Luthiers in this time were selling their instruments through dealers with large shops in France like Paul Beuscher, Symphonia and Paris Musical or Sonora in Italy. Many of Beuscher-guitars as most Symphonias, Sonoras or “Paris Musical”-guitars were actually built by Busato, but have just been sold with another label (see images above).

    Barnabe Busato died from a heart attack on July 4 th 1960, at his house located at the same address as his shop in Champigny.

    Until his death Busato had trained many famous Luthiers amongst them Jacques Favino (who worked for him until 1946), Siro Burgassi, Gino Papiri or Pierre Anastasio. All these guys have been working for him in his staff over the first years of the early years of 1925 to 1948, until some of them started their own businesses and workshops in later years.

    Because of the rarity and big demand of the Busato-guitars alongside the famous Selmer– and Favino-Guitars there are always “Busato”-instruments beeing “faked” and put on the market for expensive prices. When buying such an expensive instrument it is of great importance to watch out for their real features and details.

    Be sure to read our articles about “Features of original Busato-Guitars” and “Fake Busatos” were we put down the most important and known facts about these great guitars, with an example of a faked Busato-guitar wich has been offered on the internet shortly.

    Read more on Busato-Guitars

    Share this article: