Louis XVIII (2)

Xavier-Joseph Delhaye was only one metre tall. Born in 1795, he died at the Hospice des Vieillards in 1866. The mannequin is wearing the authentic costume of this former earthenware and porcelain worker, a “mender” of earthenware and porcelain, i.e. a restorer of pieces that were unfortunately broken. Passing through the streets, Xavier-Joseph Delhaye is shouting: “Don't you have any earthenware and porcelain to mend?” Louis XVIII was his pseudonym. His reputation as an angry and authoritarian dwarf has come down to us. He married twice with women of normal height. Tradition has it that, drunk, he sometimes climbed up on the table to slap his wife, as depicted by Pierre Montignis in a drawing. Arthur Le Torey made several statuettes in his likeness. Édouard Tréhoux (1878-1952) turned him into a giant - irony of fate! - who first appeared in the 1933 folklore procession, a parade of giants inspired for their physiognomy by those of the Ducasse d'Ath (intangible heritage recognised by UNESCO).