Friday, April 30, 2010

The Little Man of Nuremburg

Matthew Buchinger was born in Anspach, Germany in 1674 and was one of the most well known performers of his day. He played over a dozen musical instruments, danced the hornpipe, and was an expert calligrapher, magician, and bowler; he built magnificent ships in bottles, and was a stunning marksman with a pistol.

His skills certainly seemed to impress ladies as he was married at least four times and fathered eleven children. There is a story that one of his wives was abusive and insulting - he put up with the behaviour until he simply snapped and he knocked her to the ground and thrashed her publicly. The event was immortalized in the form of a caricature published in the newspaper the following day.

During his lifetime, Buchinger performed for many kings – three successive kings of Germany – and several times before King George.

All this was quite remarkable for any man...however, it's more impressive when you consider that Matthew Buchinger, The Little Man of Nuremberg...never grew taller than 28 inches high and was born without arms or legs...

He died in Cork, Ireland in 1732.

(originally published on

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