Artisto Violin

June 28, 2005 at 05:08 AM · I found a violin that has an "Artisto" label and is a copy of a Strad. All my searching has not revealed any information about the instrument.The label has "France" typed lightly in blue and the instrument has very nice flame on the back and the neck looks like a tiger tail. The sound is very strong and a friend really liked the instrument. I found this one at an auction for $65.00 and that is all the history I have. A dealer looked at it and was very interested in buying it but did not give me any indication of origin or value. I am not interested in selling it and want to know if I should spend the money to get a professional appraisal done on the violin.

Any info. to share out there? Thank you.

Replies (5)

September 24, 2007 at 11:34 PM · Hi, Brian-

I have some info for you....Artisto violins were exported by a company called Fiat Musica in Mirecourt, France in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I found this info on eBay while researching Artisto violins, as I just bought one myself. I unexpectedly found it in an antiques shop in Lyons, CO. Just for fun, I started playing it, and I couldn't stop! The tone was so beautiful, I just had to buy it. I gladly paid $700! The one on eBay just sold for $1500!! So you got quite a deal - no wonder that dealer was interested in it. Congratulations!

August 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM · I just got an Artisto Violin as a birthday gift, It was my father-in-law's, I suspect from the 1930's. It's been up in an attic for years and years. It's a Strad copy and appears to be in pretty good shape, with a very old but still functioning hard case and a couple of bows. I'll be setting it up in the next few weeks....then the hard part.... I'll begin to learn to play it!

I'll continue to try to find out all I can about it, (like where it was made?)


August 18, 2008 at 06:04 PM · I've seen questions about Artisto violins several times, but never much information in response. I guess it was just a small enough brand to not get much notice.

I have one that is an Amati model and has the Fiat Musica logo too. It is stamped as made in France and seems like a decent grade of Mirecourt violin with good wood, varnish, and workmanship.

I've noticed that the border of the label on mine looks to be made of a connected series of "L&H"'s. That appearance might be coincidental, but I've wondered if these might have been imported to the US by Lyon and Healy. I've not seen that brand listed in any of their old catalogs, but haven't seen very many.

August 28, 2008 at 06:39 PM · I just checked and the label on my violin also is a series of "L & H".... the label doesn't say "Made in France",it's just stamped "France" in blue.

May 30, 2011 at 06:56 PM ·

 Hi all,

Better late than never, I hope, but I have a lot of information regarding these violins (and I am the proud owner of an Amati style Artisto). As has been pointed out, these were made by Fiat Musica in France for the import trade. With regard to one of the prior poster's question about labeling, one reading only "France" would indicate an earlier import date as a result of new import tariffs/ regulations in the States which went into effect post-1910. A "Made in France" label would indicate a later date, because greater specificity in labeling with regard to country of origin was required by the tariff in question.

Now onto the good stuff. A couple years ago I found a mail-order catalogue from 1910 that contained within it listings for Artisto violins. I hope you don't mind if I quote from it at length. Under the heading "Violins" the catalogue lists a number of violin styles with prices ranging from $4.45 to $16. Then, in a separate sub heading ("HIGH GRADE VIOLINS FOR PROFESSIONAL USE') one finds listed "THE CELEBRATED ARTISTO VIOLINS." Nine models are listed, ranging in price from $16.90 to $78.25. I will quote the listings in their entirety: they will help you determine which Artisto you have as well as how original your violin remains.

No. 9850 F. Breton Model, fine red amber color, high polish finish, ebony pegs, finger-board and tail-piece...Each $16.90

No. 9854 Stradivarius Model, fine amber colored varnish, highly finished, ebony pegs, finger-board and tail-piece...Each $20.45

No. 9856 Stradivarius Model, dark brown color, slightly shaded, highly polished finish, light edges, ebony pegs, finger-board and tail-piece...Each $24.00

No. 9858 Maggini Model, medium red amber color, double row purfling,highly polished and finished, full ebony trimmed...Each $28.45

No. 9860 Guarnerius Model, reddish amber color, highly polished and finished, fine pattern, gilt mounted pegs, full ebony trimmed...Each $35.60

No. 9862 Stradivarius Model, ruddy red color, or highly polished elegant finish, fine flamed back, full ebony trimmed...Each $42.70

No. 9864 Amati Model, fine amber color, highly polished and finished, artistic rounded edges, pearl inlaid tail-piece and pegs, full ebony trimmed...Each $42.70

No. 9866 Maggini Model, orange amber color, double rows of purfling, fine pattern, highly polished and finished, fine flamed back, full ebony trimmed...Each $60.45

No. 9868 Stradivarius Model, grand pattern, amber color, highly polished and finished, high grade workmanship, beautiful flamed back, full ebony trimmed...Each 78.25


The catalogue notes that "Prices quoted do not include bows." No mention is made of cases, but we do learn that "ALL ORDERS FILLED SAME DAY RECEIVED. NO DELAY."

Hope that all of this is helpful. Beir bua, Deamhan Fola


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