Statue Juggling Tricks

In the first half of the twentieth century, a type of trick known as “statue tricks” was quite popular. Statue tricks consist of multiple balances on various body parts at the same time. There is no tossing involved, although in rare cases spinning may occur. Nevertheless, all of the objects being balanced or manipulated are in constant contact with the body. The origin of the name most likely comes from the static nature of the trick, with the juggler staying perfectly still in a precarious position, therefore resembling a statue. Another contributing factor to the name may be the fact that such an unmoving trick can be immortalized in statue form, a feat that is much more difficult for toss juggling tricks. Statue tricks generally took quite a bit of time to set up and often required an assistant or two. Audiences of the past appear to have been more patient than their modern counterparts, with tricks sometimes taking a minute or two to be assembled in place. Once the multiple balance was in place, it was simply held there for the audience to view and appreciate before being disassembled quickly.

While the origins of this type of trick go back quite far, as can be seen in the first picture below, it was Enrico Rastelli who really popularized them. The early versions of such tricks, such as those performed by various Burmese jugglers, were just balances of multiple balls on the body, but Rastelli and those that followed him took this to a very high degree of difficulty.

It should be noted that the merging of statue tricks with spinning and toss juggling created combination tricks, a subject on which I’ve written previously and which can be viewed here. Statue tricks are almost non-existent in the modern juggling world, although brief demonstrations of such balance tricks can occasionally be seen as a part of a larger toss juggling act. Perhaps this article will spur some current jugglers to resuscitate this lost form of juggling.

Below is a collection of pictures of statue tricks done by a variety of jugglers. Enjoy.

ClayjugglingfigureTerracotta statue from ancient Thebes, about 200 B.C.. Statue of a statue trick!


CarlRappo1828 (500x345)

Carl Rappo 1828


MoungToonMoung Toon, famous Burmese juggler from the late 1800s and early 1900s


MongToon2 (268x500)

Early Moung Toon photo


Maung Law Paw 1924 Burma

Burmese juggler Maung Law Paw performing in 1924


Enrico Rastelli

RastelliStatue2 DSCF1184 (236x500) RastelliStatue3

 RastelliStatue5  RastelliStatue21 (206x500) RastelliStatue7

RastelliStatue9 RastelliStatueTrick1 RastelliStatue8

RastelliStatue22 RastelliStatue20 (293x500) RastelliStatue18 (338x500)

RastelliStatue17 (357x500)  DSCF1168 (233x500)


Massimiliano Truzzi




DSCF1169 (221x500)



Ernst Carre 1928



Ernst Carre 1928


RudenkoBrothersIgor Rudenko



Paolo Bedini


BendiniStatue5 (308x500)

Paolo Bendini


Bendini4 (204x500)

Paolo Bendini



Paolo Piletto and Paolo Bedini


 Piletto3 (297x500)

Paolo Piletto





SergeFlashStatue (270x500)

Serge Flash


Goldston (256x500)



DSCF1171 (339x500)

Bob Ripa


ChowDing (373x500)

Chow Ding


CardenasStatue (249x500)

Rudy Cardenas



Eddy Carello Sr.



Rudy Horn


TrixieStatue2 (224x500)







Oliver Groszer


Chimp Statue Jugglers







Bubu3 (410x500)








David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of sixteen books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

Leave a Reply