It is now estimated that about 35 per cent of 16-44 year-olds in the UK (40 per cent in the USA) carry a tattoo. This collectible volume on a hugely popular subject is a compendium of fascinating tattoo memorabilia, paraphernalia, ephemera, historical images, equipment and art. Included are unpublished photographs of rare museum collections not available for public viewing, with insights from the curators that care for them. Gemma Angel, who looks after the preserved skins at the Wellcome Collection and the Science Museum, shares her grisly but intriguing specimens. The British Museum open up their archives to let us view intricately carved Polynesian tattoo needles and Greek vases of tattooed female warriors. Pore over the amazingly modern-looking tattooed skins (with designs akin to David Beckham's) that were excavated in Siberia, perfectly preserved since the Ice-Age, and marvel at the man who had the same designs copied onto his own body. Intended as an inspiration, a sourcebook and a celebration of all things tattoo, Tattoo Esoterica makes a perfect gift.
Lal Hardy was born in 1958 and, although widely travelled, has spent most of his time living and working around Muswell Hill, in north London. His interest in tattoo began through seeing tattoos on members of his family who had been tattooed whilst serving king and country during and after the First and Second World Wars. His interest was further kindled during the Teddy boy revival of the late 1970s and the subsequent punk explosion. He found a niche tattooing designs onto the flesh of numerous members of London's subcultures during this time. He opened his studio, New Wave Tattoo, in 1979. Outside of tattooing, his interests are London history, trivia, music, lurchers, and Tottenham Hotspur football club.