'Marie' with flowers, H.C. Andersen, 1874. The Hans Laage-Petersen Collection, The Royal Library, Copenhagen.
Bouquet holder & butterfly with dancers, H.C. Andersen, 1874. The Hans Laage-Petersen Collection, The Royal Library, Copenhagen.
Brazilian newspaper man, Hans Christian Andersen, 1830. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Odense.
Woman in fancy dress, Hans Christian Andersen. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Odense.
Hans Christian Andersen. Blinding. To me he was just the famous name behind the fairy tales until I heard about the paper cuts that he created whilst telling stories to the children of the hosts with whom he stayed. He didn't own his own house and spent a lot of time as a guest with other families, being invited into high society homes (he was born and raised in slums in Odense) to entertain and tell everyone stories.
The best part of all is that he had incredibly large hands and created all of the above using an equally huge pair of scissors. Interestingly the stories that he told and the cuts that he created simultaneously, never related: he wouldn't tell a fairy tale about swans and cut swans from the sheet, the paper-cut would always be a complete surprise. And unlike the other silhouette cutters of that time, he always created his pieces in white paper, or anything else he could find, but never black.
For more information follow the above links to Andersen's work in various collections (The Hans Laage-Petersen Collection at The Royal Library, Copenhagen is particularly good).
It's also worth having a look at the 2005 Penguin Classics edition of Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, which has been published with some of the paper-cuts as illustrations.
A basic life story written for kids, but with a pretty thorough collection of images can be found in The Amazing Paper Cuttings of Hans Christian Andersen by Beth Wagner Brust.