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Porcelain figure group showing a person with gout and his family, Meissen, Germany, 1731-1770

The statue shows a man experiencing gout being nursed by his wife. Gout causes inflammation and swelling of the joints, affecting the big toe first. Gout is a disease which was thought to be caused by over-indulgence in rich foods such as liver and alcohol. Only the wealthy and affluent were thought to be able to afford such a disease! This statue was made by Meissen in Germany, one of the first companies to produce porcelain.

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    Glossary: statue

    A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

    Glossary: nursing

    The study and practice of caring for and waiting on the sick, injured, or others unable to look after themselves or to deal with their specific medical needs.

    Glossary: gout

    A disease with painful inflammation of the joints caused by deposits of uric acid salts. It results in acute arthritis and chronic destruction of the joints.

    Glossary: diseases of affluence

    A phrase that refers to diseases that are considered to be a result of increasing wealth within a society. Unlike diseases of poverty, they tend to be non-infectious and include coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, certain cancers and clinical conditions such as obesity. However, as habits change within a society, strict definitions of what are diseases of affluence often change.