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Statue showing a seller of quack medical treatments, Germany

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Accompanied by a monkey and a clown, this man is selling a number of dubious potions and lotions to treat the illnesses of the day. Until relatively recently, the manufacturing of medical treatments was not well regulated and anyone could turn their hand to it. Often these medical preparations were of little or no real use and could even be quite harmful.

The monkey and the clown who accompany the man may indicate that the man was part of a travelling fair. The porcelain statue was made be Meissen in Germany.

maker: Meissen

Place made: Meissen, Dresden, Saxony, Germany


    Credit: Science Museum, London

    Free to use with attribution

    CC BY


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