Welcome to Vintage Gibson guitars where you'll find reviews ,insites and a little history on gibson vintage guitars .... Enjoy
If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site, you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ...

Important Note
: Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully somebody will help.

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Gibson Les Paul Artisan ( 1976-1982 )

1977 gibson les paul artisan Back in 1976 while the gibson les paul custom guitars were taking rock guitar players and musicians by storm , gibson decided to make an artistic and fancier model and called it the gibson les paul artisan .

Although they are 2 different gibson guitar models, the gibson artison is very similar to the les paul custom but with a sleeker look .

The gibson les paul artison had a carved maple top , gold hardware , hearts and flowers inlays on the headstock and fingerboard which was its trademark ( very similar to their gibson banjos ) , they had pre war similar style gibson logos , ( see pics courtesy of ebay )

a tune o matic bridge ( some had a rectangular bridge base in the 80s ) , tp-6 fine tuning tailpeice ,2 or 3 humbuckers ( optional ) , and were made in walnut , tobacco sunburst, and ebony finish . Most artisan guitars were manufactured at the Kalamazoo factory .

The artisan guitars with the 3 humbuckers were better sellers , guitarits' could of activated the middle pick up making it sound thinner to mimic the fender strat thus making it more versatile which was a popular feature for some during that era ,

gibson pre war logo stylehowever during the exact same year ( 1976 ) the gibson les paul custom also had a 3 humbucker model which was a better seller because it was cheaper in price and it had basically everything the artisan had to offer accept for the fancier artistic inlay designs .

The gibson les paul artisan had a very short history and were discontinued in 1982 . They retailed for $1550 and sold for $1050 to $1150 for the 3 pick up version and $950 to $1050 for the 2 pick up version .

Vintage Price Value :
1976-1982 > $2100 to $2500

guitar price guideAvg Upward Trend of 6% a year since 2000

Note : The 3 humbucker models are worth a little bit more due to the extra pick up .. however the 2 humbucker models are known to be more difficult to come by ...


50 Comments

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Nice guitar... the one I couldn't afford when I was 17 and had to settled for a Gibson RD-77.
xutprof.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I own an '78 Les Paul Artisan 2 Pick up with ebony finnish.Oustanding guitar all around.Took me close to 20 years to get one,but I'll never part with it.If you see one of these and you have the cash,by all means,grab it! You won't be dissapointed!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

i have one too , they are awesome ...i would never sell it .

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 77... it is really a amazing guitar.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

THE ARTISAN IS VERY MUCH LIKE A LES PAUL CUSTOM .... LUV IT !

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 2 pickup, walnut finnshed '80 model. I don't about anyone else but the signal from these humbuckers are hotter that that of my LPC. I don't know why either. My LPC is a '79 so they're only a year apart. Anyone out there with info?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

what type of humbuckers were on the 1976 lp custom?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

does anyone know if the 1978 Artisan had an option to come with a Bigsby tremolo??

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

To he person with the '80 Artisan (walnut) and the '79 Les Paul Custom. What a coincidence! I have those very same models and I agree that the pickups on the Artisan are so much hotter. I asked Mr. Mike Slubowski and he said he thinks that they should be the same. Maybe not. BTW, My LPC has a "Natural" finnish.

Aloha

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 79 with 3 pick ups and fine tuning . Has a schaller bridge fitted but otherwise original with case.
Its damn heavy but I wont part with it.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

My dad passed away sometime ago and left me this old guitar. It has what people call sunburst finish and it's acoustic. There's the word Epiphone on the top where the tuning thingies are. In the hole there's a word "TEXAN" and FT-79. (heh heh cowboy guitar) The paint seems to be cracking. Actually it looks more like the paint is being absorbed by the wood. This guitar was made before I was born and I was born in 1954. I'd like to sell this jalopy and keep the new Epiphone. (its only 3 years old and a full sized dreadnaught. Beautiful with no scratchs, just CHERRY! Anyway, if someone can make me reasonable offer for the jalopy and be serious. Please no 25-35 dollar offers. I'm hoping to get at least a hundred bucks. If you want the hard case, thats gonna cost you another 20 bucks. I'll be checking this site

 

  Posted By : Blogger moreyn

ANONYMOUS if you stopped back and still have that Texan, I'll buy it! Email me at Moreyn@maine.rr.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I own a 1978 3 pickup model Dark walnut Looks black. Awesome sound and looks, in its original canadian pink fur lined case with pink fur shroud that covers the guitar. I will never part with it. I own a 1960 Classic reissue as well plus a 96 White Custom and a 67 black standard Les Paul

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1976 Gibson Les Paul artisan And a Gibson ES-330 they are awesome i am never gonna part

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

les paul artisan,i sold one in o5 to help out with funeral costs ,would like to buy one again if anyone can help me find one ,i would be so pleased ,mine was 76 wine red,email me at thomascain86@aol.com ,thanks,reward waiting.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1981 2-pickup Artisan. I'm the only guy I know who has been stupid enough to sell his Les Pauls in the past (20th Anniversary Custom and a 1974 Black Custom)...won't tell you how little I sold them for.

Anyway, I love the Artisan...it's a keeper.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Eric in Alexandria, VA

I have a 1977, 3 PU Artisan that I got in 1977. It it sooo.. smooth sounding for jazz and really cranks on rock and funk numbers. I have other guitars but this one is definitely my favorite. People are always asking me where they can get one.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Just got a 1978 3 pick up model for my 50th birthday.
it is in fine condition for its age and plays great. The bindings are aged yellow and some DNA( re; scratches) are evident on the front. they look like metal bracelet DNA. The rear has belt or buckle marks but not scratches. The finish is natural Walnut but not very dark. The frets are original and all inlays are beautifully intact. All pickups are hot as hell and very original. this is truly a keeper. Does any one know why gibson stamped the made in USA on rear of headstock running up and down the headstock and not across as is evident on some? Anyway..Gibson rules yet again

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Keith Griffet

I had an Artisan I bought for $500 in 1984. The bridge pick up went bad and I replaced it with a DiMarzio Super Distortion. Somebody stoled it in 1995 in Phoenix. My Social Security number is engraved on it. I hope I find it again someday. And I curse the scumbag who stole it. tiekbane@yahoo.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

i have a gibson les paul special serial number 00381644 with the sunburst top. the weird thing is that there are circle inlays on the fretboard instead of square iver brought it to a couple of guitar shops and have made no progress in finding out exctually what it is any help would be great

 

  Posted By : Blogger joshuah

i own one inherited it form my father, and i am so happy that he kept it in near perfect condition, great guitar very happy with it.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Firteen years ago I sold my Artisan, the 3 pickup, walnut finished style and since then have been looking to replace it. I believe it was either a 77 or 78 model year. If anyone has one or knows of someone who's selling, please contact me at paul.riches@cogeco.ca

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I remember playing one of these at their launch in 1976 at a trade fair, it blew my socks off and I've been after one ever since. Awesome guitars...if a little heavy !

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 78 model, three pickups and walnut finish. I bought it in 78. It's been played very little, a few buckel marks on the back but otherwise in excellent condition. I don't think they gave me the correct case with it as mine has chrome latches and I think they should have been gold finish. I could not part with it for less than $5,000, even that would hurt. If you're intrested make me an offer. kentinsley@roadrunner.com
I really don't think there is a nicer one to be found.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have an 82 Artisan that I bought in a pawn shop for $700 ten years ago.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a '77 Artisan from my Father, given to me on my 14th b-day in '81. He said it was played in a Gospel band before he found it for me. I, of course played Beatles, Stones & Zep on it. I was, after all, a teenager! Many folks over the years have tried to get me to sell them my axe, but no way. Way too much sentimental value for that to ever happen. I love the way it plays, and it is such a beauty. The only thing for me, is I think its a bit too heavy to play for too long. I call it a "Cadillac"

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a three pickup in dark walnut my dad bought for me in 81. I dont know what year it is and would like to find out so my kids have all the facts on it when they get to fight over it. Is there a way to verify the year of it from the serial number?
jff_rouse@yahoo.com
Thanks

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Have a '77 les paul artisan, exactly like the picture above, need to sell, email me @ debw56@hotmail.com.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Way back in high-school, I purchased my first LP Artisan new (can't remember where the money came from) but unfortunately sold it a few years later. The good news is: I just just purchased a 1976 LP Artisan (3 Pick-up) in near perfect condition and I agree with many of you, the p/u's are definately hotter that my LP Customs of the same era. 'Looks alot cooler too! Great guitars.

 

  Posted By : Blogger Kristey

My uncle gave my daughter an LP Artisan last week that he bought in '80 for $1500. We had new strings put on it today... it is in pristine condition. It hadn't been played in 20+ years. I need to insure it...any ideas how much?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Jim in Seattle

The pickups are hotter because, according to the salesman back in 77, they had super humbuckers in 2 of the 3 slots. I have a walnut that was my first electric guitar and was my favorite until I picked up a PRS. I love that Les Paul and would never sell it.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I am the original owner of a 1977 Artisan. It is a "second". I know that this guitar is one of a kind, not only in it's construction, but also how it plays.I have played serious music since 1958. I have never in my life played another guitar that even comes close to what this guitar does. I have played some big events (60,000 people) on more than a couple occasions.I have put some wear (A LOT) on it. I play a minumum of 5 hours a day. This guitar goes with me everywhere. I own all kinds of instruments. Everyone knows how I feel about this incredibly beautiful instrument. Gibson outdid themselves when they made this guitar that plays itself. Would not sell for ANY price.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

sold one in san antonio,tx looking to buy it back if anyone has info...email reyesevents@aol.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

i have a very unusual artisan in tobacco burst which appears to have a factory fitted trem

aledgedly it was a semi custom shop job for the guitarist in Aha but i cant verfy this

also has a string lock down system at the top of the neck which uses alun keys

anyone seen one like this before?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 3 pup Artisan with a bad bridge pickup. I can't seem to find a suitable replacement. The SD Pearly Gates I installed is just left in the the dust by the 2 remaining originals. Anyone have any ideas?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I'm looking to buy an Artisan. Used to own one, never should have sold it. Also looking for a mid 60's blue Fender Mustang. Oh the good old days. serious collector richard@rogalski.name

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

wooooowwww!!!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I'm looking to buy a left-handed 1978 Gibson Artisan. Anyone have one for sale?

 

  Posted By : Blogger moonbeamdiver

I've got a three pick up ivory one. any idea of value?
ld

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1978 Gibson Artisan Cuatom...absolutely mint!! These guitars are the most rediculously undervalued vintage anything on the web!! I wouldn't consider anything less than $100,000. I am the former guitarist with Wayne Cochrane and The CC Riders and have owned many fine instruments including a Gibson Super 400...Les Paul Recording..ES335...and the least expensive of all that I played whith the CC Riders...a black Telecaster Custom

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

One of my best friends in high school had a Les Paul Artisian. It was slightly different than the models described here. The sunburst was a light brown in the center and a milk chocolate brown on the outer edges. Instead of the hearts and flowers inlays on the fretboard, there was a beautiful vine inlay. It was a three pickup with nickel plated hardware. He purchased the guitar at a steep discount because the guitar was damaged in a break in. The glass from the broken window chipped the instrument in a few places. This was the best sounding best playing guitar ever, even better than my Custom. I lost contact with him for a few years and later found out he sold it. Wish I would have known.

 

  Posted By : Blogger Many Thoughts Etc...

I was thinking about selling mine. It's an '82 two pickup. Tobacco sunburst. The neck snapped at the headstock after falling forward off a stand when my sweater snagged the tuners.. my hear sank.... It was fixed and plays fine. Never liked the fine tuners on the bridge much. It's very heavy, but delivers in massive beautiful tone. Hmmm after reading the regrets of others here...maybe I won't sell it. maybe. If I could get $2000 for it I may do it.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Got a 78 Walnut Finish Artisian - Nice condition except for wearing off the gold plating when I played it everyday for 10 years(especially on the middle pickup - surprised that a plastic pick could do so much scraping). Also marked on neck as a "SECOND" which doesn't mean anything these days (originally meant not as good for some minor reason as others produced back then). Must be getting more rare since I have a 57 LP Junior worth over $5K that I can find on EBAY but no Artisians. NOT worth 100K but if you got 10K and interested , I'll send photos gsc0tt@hotmail.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have what i think is a 1977 Artisan that has limited edition at the top back of the neck mint condition and original case.I think the wood on the front is diferent than the one in the picture above.Love it and had it scince 84. does anyone know the value of this guitar? guyjamessampson@hotmail.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a chance to buy a 1980 walnut Artisan clean cond but does not have original pickups trying to make a decision between the 80's Artisan or an 87 les Paul custom same cond but all original the Artisan is 200 cheaper what would you do rparsonssr@cox.net

 

  Posted By : Blogger Danny Clark

I got one for free!!!! I don't actually own it but it has been at my house for my use for several years now!!!

 

  Posted By : Blogger MistrJinx

I have acquired a 1979 Walnut Artisan with dual humbuckers in near perfect condition. I'm not sure what to sell it for but if you'd are interested and would like pictures, email me at mistrjinx@gmail.com.

 

  Posted By : Blogger michael blizzard

I have the black Artisan that my dad left me. It has not been played in over 15yrs. I dont play. I take it out of case to let it air out then put it back. I am ready to sell it. I think my dad would like for it to be played again its been a long time. It has 3 gold pick ups 4 knobs & toggle switch for Rhythm & Treble. It needs a good home at a fair price. Need some one to help me on a fair price. I have pics and the numbers on back are pressd in the wood not ink stamped. # 73258038 Made in USA I was told it was a 1978 modle. It is a nice Guitar. Can reach me at. fisherman3435@yahoo.com Thanks Mike

 

  Posted By : Blogger michael blizzard

I have a black Atisan for sale. 3 pick ups # 73258038 Made in USA . left to me by my father i dont play. I think it is a 1978 fisherman3435@yahoo.com thanks i live in north carolina have pics

 

  Posted By : Blogger PAT ZEPHRO THE CC RIDERS 1978

Owners unite!! How anyone would accept the rediculously historic value for this very rare Gibson Les Paul Artisan Custom...unless completely abused...near mint...ask $100,000....TAKE A STAND OWNERS!!

 

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