Re: New member with an old mandolin
Mario Casella was indeed a Catanese maker of instruments. Apparently for awhile he also worked with his brother Gaetano. I' have some examples from both in my files. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the particulars of the men.
Catania has had an extensive history of instrument including mandolin production, though a much of this ended during the war as the city was heavily bombed. Some Catanese luthiers survived, or began again after the war and continue to this day.
Both i fratelli and Mario (by himself) made quite a range of mandolins, from some more plain models to those quite exuberantly decorated. While the various Sicilian makers are sometimes sniffed at by devotees of the Roman mandolins, the Casellas' work seems to be of very good quality.
Ever tried, ever failed, no matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.--Samuel Beckett