Jun
22
2009

Matthias Buchinger: The (astounding) Little Man from Nuremburg

Self-portrait by Matthias Buchinger: The forward-most curls on Buchinger's left shoulder near his collar are magnified on the right to show the inscribed hidden biblical text.
Self-portrait by Matthias Buchinger: The forward-most curls on Buchinger's left shoulder near his collar are magnified on the right to show the inscribed hidden biblical text.Courtesy Public domain via Wikipedia
I recently (and literally) stumbled upon a web page about this remarkable man from the 17th century. His name was Matthias Buchinger, and despite being born without hands, legs or thighs, this guy managed to live a full and amazing life with no less than 4 wives (!?), and fathering something like 11-14 children depending on the source. But even more incredible was how - despite his severe physical deformations - Buchinger was able to rise above Nature’s challenges and become an accomplished musician, inventor, artist, model-in-a-bottle builder, and magician.

Born in Anspach, Germany in 1674, he was the youngest of nine children, and became widely known as “The Little Man from Nuremburg” performing his feats of wonder across much of Great Britain and Europe. Buchinger was only 29 inches tall, and for hands had "two excrescences which grew from his shoulder-blades, like fingers without nails" but his skills in magic, marksmanship, and music were legendary. He played several musical instruments, some of which he invented himself, was accomplished at skittles (bowling), and could dance a hornpipe as well as anyone. He was also a talented calligrapher. His engraving skills are evident by the self-portrait to the right. Hidden within his curls are seven psalms and the Lord’s Prayer written in tiny letters. Buchinger lived much of his adult life in England and Ireland, and performed before King George and many of Europe’s royalty. He died in Cork, Ireland in 1732.

I don’t know about you but I find Buchinger quite inspiring. You can read more about this human marvel in the links below.

Matthias Buchinger
More about Matthias Buchinger
And yet another site

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I just thought for those interested in the science of Ancestry if there is such a thing, that Mathew Buchinger certainly fits the bill when it comes to music.His musical ancestry certainly stands the test of time. He was my wife's Great Grandfather seven times removed and this passed to his Grandson Joseph and then through the Buchinger/Buckinger/Barry family and beyond to my wife and our children all of whom are very accomplished musicans. So I suppose you might say that this is proof that the genes work, as my wife and daughters all earn their living in music. Joseph Buchinger was particularly successful with his tittle of "Music seller to Prince William Duke of Clarence, by appointment"

posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 8:05am

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