This fantastic instrument was built sometime in the 1960s by Jacques Castelluccia. Castelluccia was one of the many famous Italian luthiers to make his name in France (along with Busato, DiMauro, Favino, Anastasio, Maccaferri, etc.) Castelluccia is the oldest continuously running shop in Paris, still producing guitars under the direction of Jacques Castelluccia's son, Jean-Baptiste.
While the price of guitars made by Busato (along with other Italian makers such as Favino and Maccaferri) have skyrocketed in recent years, Castelluccia's have been largely overlooked. But after playing this guitar, I think anyone would agree that Castelluccia was also capable of building guitars on par with his more famous contemporaries.
This instrument features Selmer like dimensions: 670mm scale, a 15 3/4" body, and 3 3/4" deep. Castelluccia's ultra lightweight three brace design weighs in at only 3.5 lbs, among the lightest guitars I've ever had in the shop. The back and sides are Cuban mahogany, the top is spruce, and the neck is mahogany. The JC tailpiece and tuners are original..
The condition of this instrument is breathtaking! It is easily the best persevered Castelluccia I've ever come across. There are no serious cracks or major modifications. Only the frets and bridge/moustache pieces have been replaced, everything else is original and in excellent condition. The replacement bridge and moustache pieces were installed at a slight angle for better intonation. The frets are still very new with very little wear. There is a minor crack on top bass bout behind the bridge which was repaired.
There is no label as this instrument appears to have been built for the retailer H. Lemair & Fils, whose name appears on the back of the headstock. However, the design and workmanship are unquestionably that of Jacques Castellucia.
The sound of this fine instrument ranks among the best vintage Gypsy guitars available. Volume-wise it's off the charts! A real boomer that will knock each note to the back of the hall. Tonally it has a nice balance between the trebles and mids, allowing for both some high end sizzle and a tad of midrange nasalness. The bass is really impressive, not overbearing but very robust and "hollow" which is just how I like it. Most importantly, it has the mature character that only finely aged woods can produce. The distinct clarity and unique overtone series of this guitar is something that only comes with time. The best contemporary luthiers working with the finest materials would still be hard pressed to build and instrument that sounds like this!
This model was made famous by Dorado Schmitt who played a similar Castelluccia in the Bireli Lagrene's Live Jazz a Vienne DVD.
This is the CASH price...add 3% if you'd like to pay with a credit card. 4% for International orders.
|Model Number||D Hole|
|Sound Hole||D Hole|
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 13/16"|
|Back and Sides||Cuban Mahogany|
|Tuners||Three on a plate|