This is my attempt at piecing together a chronology of Europe's infamous band instrument manufacturer. I'll have to go back through later, but this is a start. I hate to admit that I own more of these than I should, partly due to my fascination with their designs inspired by Conn, ranging from simple aesthetics like the "grip rings" on the valve casings, to the design of pistons similar to the barrel-spring type in Victors and Connstellations.
While they still exist [since 2012 as a division of Geneva Group UK], they don't have much in the way of records when I inquire about past models, and they've mentioned their serial "list" is vague before the 1980s, when they implemented computer record keeping. There isn't much in the way of English-language material, but Brasspedia details the founding of Amati-Kraslice pretty well. Unfortunately the photos I saved sometimes went missing, and the early horns are a hodgepodge of parts and suppliers. It doesn't help that there are a few sequences in use that often overlap...
October 17, 1945 - Amati cooperative of musical instrument manufacturing is established, with representatives meeting in the cafeteria of the F. X. Hüller company. The co-op also consists of "a total of 322 [firms] producing musical instruments...Josef Glassl, Bohland & Fuchs, Julius Keilwerth, A. K. Hüttl, Franz Michl and Kohlerts Söhne" - some of these trademarks will be used alongside the Amati name for several years
1948 - Communists take full control of Czechoslovakia, nationalizing industries and continuing consolidation, which was complete by 1952
This interesting bit was in a HUC thread until it disappeared, wit this summary on the Amati page. Keilwerth family members were retained to assist with operation - "Max was retained by Amati to consult on the integration of the cooperative. He remained at Amati until 1951. He would have had connections to all of the former German suppliers and to new firms run by his former workers, and could easily have subcontracted work there - particularly in East Germany", explaining the occasional Amati trumpet with Made in Germany on the top of the receiver, in the manner of really early Böhm-Meinl trumpets, as well as a distinctive type of valve block used early on.
In other cases, the Amati name appears on a wide range of prewar designs, likely just finished instruments made with leftover parts. Pigtail crook peashooter trumpets, rimless "Vocabell" peashooters, octagonal bell trumpets, all sorts of others...
Amati kept using its constituent firms' trademarks, and in the case of Keilwerth, continued making saxophones in the same sequence with no changes. Keilwerth argued that their family owned these trademarks, but Amati countered in stating they were the "legal" corporate successors, who inherited the rights to the name. In 1955, the European Court in The Hague ruled in favor of Keilwerth. Hüttl was also awarded compensation for what Amati had seized in 1945-6. I don't know how Karl Fuchs of B&F fared, since the B&F name appears on Amati horns into the 1980s, and Fuchs died in Germany in the 1960s...
Meanwhile, Czechoslovakia was re-industrializing under a Five-Year Plan, on the Soviet model. That said, the state managers knew that musical instrument export was a great way to get much-needed hard currency [Dennis Gazarek, Elmar here, and a number of others echoed that], and they could build upon the network of small craftsmen building from parts milled out in the central shop as "showpiece" horns, called "Meister Trompete" in a 1970s-80s catalog. This was a continuation of the earlier model, just under state control. I thin they began churning out their infamous designs by the end of that plan.
While musical instrument manufacturing was prioritized, Amati quality still suffered under the command economy. I recall Elmar mentioned the "brass" used contained more impurities than Western brass, since it had been recycled from Soviet artillery shell casings containing high amounts of lead, primed with mercury [!!!]. The Soviets didn't see a problem with that [look at the tolerances on their weapons in general], and Amati instruments probably have half their issues due to the materials used.
The serial numbers appear in two major sequences: I call the first the "mass-produced" series, and the second "Meister series". The first is recognizable by the large numbers stamped on the left-hand side of the 2nd valve casing, perpendicular to the cap. The Meister series usually has 2-piece valve casings [sometimes with nickel upper sections], a model name indicating an attempt at a pro design, and a small number stamped parallel to the bottom cap of the 2nd valve casing, left-hand side, near the cap.
In some cases, a horn has the mass-produced valve block and serial, but with a second number stamped around the receiver, fitting in the Meister series - my "semi-pro" Arioso Super is one of a few like this. I wonder if they sent these parts out for assembly by trusted, experienced craftsmen [rather than workers slamming parts together en masse - I have a Legrand cornet with bent valve guides, no slide ferrules, and slide legs/tubes not even parallel].
ca 1953 - Amati is retooled for mass production, introducing new designs which they will make for 40 years
The infamous trumpet with "Conn Director valve grip rings" appears here, and the existence of models with Toneking on the bell means that they were made prior to Keilwerth winning the lawsuit in 1955
The earliest "mass produced" model I found was a Grafton trumpet, made for Dallas of London, serial 519. It was purchased used in 1963, and it had apparently been around for "some time" before.
My list mixes the ones with letter prefixes [which appear to have East German parts and are rare] so I'll have to go back and prune that.
These continue until the 800000 series. I presume they hit 999999 and started over [000019 is the earliest I can find of that sort], still in that sequence today.
They occasionally tried to make horns that weren't complete junk - the Arioso Supers are particularly gussied-up, with Olds-style 1st and 3rd triggers, nickel slides, reverse tuning slide, a sort of "Italian rim" where the edge of the bell goes over and past the wire a bit [not quite a garland, though the crappy Legrand has one, and several B&F ones have flat rims].
The Meister trumpets appear under names like Consul [which has a 1st valve slide on the left like Nova/Hayes], Festival, Senator, Excelent [sic! they really spelled it that way], etc. These aren't at the level of classic Conn, Bach, Yamaha, etc. but are usually more...stable than their low-end counterparts. These were assigned model numbers in the 1980s, and probably stopped when they ran out of parts in the 1990s or so. I can't find much on them, and it doesn't help that horns marked Czech Republic have serials just below others marked Czechoslovakia of the same model...!
In 2012, Geneva Group UK purchased Amati - they had already sourced components, and it apparently was best to just buy the factory. The newest pro horns apparently are nice [the first they've made to a high level in 80 years...?!] and even have bi-metal bells, something only seen on rare models like the Amati-Kraslice ACR-700 cornet.