MATTHEW BUCHINGER – The Little Man of Nuremberg


‘The tricks he plays at cups and balls,
Tis wrong in any man, who calls,
Them slight of hand, as he gives out,
Their slight of stumps, and are no doubt …
I’m sure that’s the worst thing about his life,
that he had to suffer these terrible poems.’
– from a handbill dating from 1726

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, built magnificent ships in bottles, and stunning marksman with a pistol. All of those accomplishments are even more impressive when you realize that he had no arms or legs and stood only 28 inches high.

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 behavior 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.

He died in Cork, Ireland in 1732


  • Reply September 21, 2007


    nice he had no arms n legs and still beat his wife, Hed put the drunk guy down the street to shame you know the one in the trailer park that drives the primer trans am

  • Reply February 1, 2008


    This guy looks incredibley weird and is mean,

  • Reply April 23, 2008


    He didn’t “beat” his wife. She was verbally and sometimes physically abusive to him, and he put up with it until he couldn’t take any more. That’s just the problem: no one cares if a wife mistreats her husband,but if he retaliates then suddenly he’s a bad person. And this is coming from a girl.

    He was neither mean nor abusive, and judging from his accomplishments despite his situation, he was a very successful individual.

  • Reply June 1, 2008


    You tell it sister…”Ladies” can be bad too & that’s why they have women’s prisons. (also from a female)

  • Reply July 4, 2008


    This guy looks incredibley weird and is mean,

    I think the whole point of this is to focus not on appearances. Perhaps I am mistaken…

  • Reply July 24, 2008


    to Whom ever wrote this:
    Anonymous said…
    You tell it sister…"Ladies" can be bad too & that's why they have women's prisons. (also from a female)
    9:54 PM

    They have women prisons cause all the men would RAPE the women…crazy

    • Reply August 4, 2014


      Men rape men as well. They aren’t picky. Some people are just messed, its not like all men or women can be put into the same catagory

  • Reply October 6, 2009


    I find this man amazing. And to the others who commented…the onyl reason he beat ONE of his wives was because she first beat him for many months. He only finally reacted when he felt she wouldn’t change. Shame on you for feeling sorry for the women! I find Matthew to be an excellent examlpe of how one can accomplish anything even with obstacles.

  • […] Little Man of Nuremberg.’ This guy is one of my all-time heroes. According to the site …Buchinger was born in Anspach, Germany in 1674 and was one of the most well known […]

  • […] Little Man of Nuremberg.’  This guy is one of my all-time heroes.  According to the site …Buchinger was born in Anspach, Germany in 1674 and was one of the most well known […]

  • Reply February 5, 2010

    jaymes mo fo

    This dude kicked ass for his time and size,do more research.

  • Reply July 19, 2011


    Please excuse if I dont believe but very little about this man. No way he did so many things considering his disability. Simply, no way. Rumors and legends abound, lets get real.

  • Reply July 20, 2011

    J Tithonus Pednaud

    Funny how those ‘rumors’ are documented facts reiterated and supported by first hand accounts. Accounts documented by the most respected and influential people of the era, I might add. Just because you find yourself limited in your life does not mean those born different share the same fate.

  • Reply August 24, 2011


    I am sure he was quite genuine, I have copies of his handwriting and handbills advertising his performances. He wouldn’t have lasted long if he could not do what he said he could do.
    His name Buckinger entered into everyday language for something quite small. Prime Minister Horace Walpole and Dr. Samuel Johnson were among those who would refer to something “as small as Buckinger”.
    I have his date of death as 4th October 1739.

  • Reply November 6, 2011

    Fiamma Buchinger

    Será que ele foi meu parente ?

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