Accomplishments and Records

The Little Man from Nuremberg

Matthew Buchinger
Matthew Buchinger

Matthew Buchinger (1674-1740) was known as “The Little Man of Nuremberg.” Buchinger was born without hands, legs, or thighs and was less than 29 inches tall.

Despite his disabilities, Buchinger led a very accomplished life. He could play a half-dozen musical instruments including the bagpipes, dulcimer, hautboy, trumpet, and flute, some of which he invented himself, was an expert calligrapher and was one of the most famous stage magicians of his day. He performed tricks with the cup and balls that have yet to be explained.

He was married four times and had at least fourteen children by at least eight different women.

Despite his having small, finlike appendages for hands, his engravings were incredibly detailed. One such engraving, a self-portrait (pictured above), was so detailed that a close examination of the curls of his hair revealed that they were, in fact, seven biblical psalms and the Lord’s Prayer, inscribed in miniature letters:

Buchinger detail

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