"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.
Bernabe Bartolo Busato (image bottom 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.
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.
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 places Busato ran has workshops.
(Photo courtesy of ©Michael Dregni)
His first adress that was documented from 1931 was in the Rue de Chaligny 34, within the 12th District in Paris when he officially registered his commercial business in February 1931 under "Musical Instruments Works and Repairs". Since 1934 until 1943 he had one workshop in the Rue d’Orgemont 40 inside the 20th District in Paris.
In 1943 he additionally opened up a musicstore with the name "Everything for Music", directly on the Boulevard de Ménilmontant 140, also located in the 20th Parisian District.
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 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 and Upright-Basses that he mostly let make at his own workshops by his co-workers. 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 in his workshops and musicstore. These instruments really existed which is certain today.
Many Luthiers in this time were selling their instruments through dealers with large shops like Paul Beuscher, Symphonia and Paris Musical in France 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.
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 -> Features of original Busato-Guitars
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