- Philip J. Kass
(b Genoa, Italy, c1740–2; d Genoa, Italy, Dec 23, 1817). Italian violin maker. He was the third of four generations of luthiers but the only one whose instruments have been traced. All of the family members were identified primarily as Chitarrari, as was Paolo; bowed strings from his hand are known primarily from the 1770s and 1780s. A general decline in the bowed string instrument trade throughout northern Italy in this period was probably responsible for his returning to guitars; he was still identified as a guitar maker at the time of his death. Castello’s violins have a full arching and blunt corners. The scrolls, with their pinched throat and projecting volutes, are distinctive. His varnish is invariably a light and fairly transparent golden yellow. Only one form of printed label is known for him: ‘Paulus Castello fecit/Genuae Anno 17–’....