Van Casteel, Henri-Joseph [Henrique ]
- Pascale Vandervellen
(bap. Tournai, Southern Netherlands, Nov 19, 1722; d Brussels, Southern Netherlands, June 7, 1790). Flemish harpsichord and piano maker, active in Portugal. He married Catherine-Joseph Pierre in Lisbon on 3 July 1757. A beautiful grand piano dated 1763 survives (P.L. mm), the second oldest extant Portuguese grand. It is constructed like a Portuguese harpsichord but its action is modelled on Cristofori’s and the soundboard ribbing recalls the Flemish harpsichord tradition. This might indicate that Van Casteel learned his craft in the Low Countries, perhaps in Tournai beside the harpsichord maker Albert Delin, though this is speculation. Because in 1760 the Lisbon harpsichord maker Manuel Antunes received an exclusive privilege to make and sell pianos for ten years, Van Casteel’s 1763 piano might have caused legal problems, resulting in his move to Brussels in 1769. There between 1770 and 1777 Van Casteel published advertisements in the Gazette des Pays-Bas...