The son of Carlo Giuseppe Testore, Paolo was born in Milan in around 1690 and died in 1767. His workmanship and choice of materials was of very poor quality, indicating a sharp descent in the fortune of violin makers in the city during the course of the mid-eighteenth century. His varnish is dull and many aspects of the construction are diminished, with scratched purfling and partly fluted scrolls. The arrival of J.B. Guadagnini in the city in 1749 must have had a considerable impact, however, reviving the standards of fine work and richly tinted varnishes. During the later part of his life Testore probably enlisted the help of Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, whose early instruments bear a strong similarity to Paolo’s efforts, but was later more influenced by Guadagnini.
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