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XL books are at least 34 cm (13.4 in.) high, with the exception of landscape-format titles

TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection

175Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)Availability: In Stock
Legendary tattoo artist and historian Henk Schiffmacher takes us on a personal journey through the history of tattooing from the 1730s to the 1970s in this oversized book of stunning tattoo artifacts and designs. Showcasing over two hundred years of worldwide tattoo history, the book brings together the best of Schiffmacher’s renowned private collection with lively personal commentary by the art’s most beloved raconteur and philosopher.
Hardcover11.4 x 15.3 in.13.52 lb440 pages
“A combination of a history book, art book, and memoir in one.”
“Meticulously documents the modern history of tattooing around the world.”

“A priceless mine of gold and ink.”
“Explore 200 years of tattoo history.”
“Henk Schiffmacher once again collaborates with editor TASCHEN for the greatest pleasure of tattoo lovers. The new book – a monster of 5,5kg and 440 pages illustrated with 700 images – this time focuses on the massive collection Henk brought together over 40 years of passion and dedication to the mother of all arts: Tattoo.”
“A fascinating perspective to tattoo history.”
“…an impressive, exhaustive tour through the history of tattooing.”
“A piece for true lovers of tattooing.”
“This book is so badass, loaded with fantastic shit from the history of tattooing that I’ve collected over 40 years. There’s a lot of stuff in it that’s never been seen before. This has been a serious labor of love.”
Henk Schiffmacher
XL books are at least 34 cm (13.4 in.) high, with the exception of landscape-format titles
TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection

TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection


A Life in Tattoos

Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection of the Art and Its Makers, 1730s–1970s

One part history book, one part art book, and one part fascinating memoir, this book is an overview of more than two centuries of tattoo history intermixed with an intimate look at the lives of tattoo artists, and the personal struggles and triumphs, occupational hazards, and artistic courage that have defined so much of this history.

For the last forty years, Henk Schiffmacher has poured his heart and soul into his collection, amassing tattoo drawings, designs, photographs, and artifacts from around the world. Each of the book’s five chapters features many never-before-seen highlights from this collection and includes lithographs, etchings, tattooing instruments, paintings, photographs, posters, shop signs, original drawings, and tattoo designs known in the business as flash, among them extremely rare vintage flash sheets from major players in early Western tattooing.

The vastness and variety of tattooing around the world is chronicled in the book’s 700+ images, including the indigenous tattooing of the Māori and South Pacific islanders, the ancient traditions of Asia, and the origins of old-school Western tattooing in Europe and the United States. The book also features a dozen original illustrations by Schiffmacher in his inimitable style, as well as a personal introduction describing Schiffmacher’s own journey as both an artist and a collector that has shaped his view of the art’s journey from the underground to the mainstream.

Schiffmacher brings a fascinating perspective to tattoo history through his personal reflections and wild tales of adventure. In this book, we learn not only about the history of tattooing, but also about the adventures behind the making of one of the largest tattoo collections in the world, by a self-taught tattoo artist in love with the art and its innovators.

The author

Amsterdam-based tattoo artist and historian Henk Schiffmacher is a living legend in the tattoo world. Traveling the world since the 1970s, Schiffmacher has amassed one of the largest collections of contemporary and historical tattoo ephemera in the world, known as the Schiffmacher Tattoo Heritage. He has tattooed many rock and pop stars, and his tattoo shop attracts countless tattoo pilgrims. A director and writer, he has published over twenty books, including TASCHEN’s 1000 Tattoos, and designed for many brands. In 2017, he was decorated by the king and queen of the Netherlands as an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, a Dutch order of chivalry and the highest recognition given to a civilian.

The editor

Noel Daniel is a graduate of Princeton University and a former Fulbright Scholar to Berlin. Her TASCHEN publications include TATTOO 1730s-1950s, Kay Nielsen’s A Thousand and One Nights and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Wintertime Tales, Magic, and The Circus.

TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection
Hardcover29 x 38.8 cm6.13 kg440 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-6935-4

Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)
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15 Ratings


Elisa,July 2, 2022
Great in every way

Tattoo collection

David,October 27, 2021
Amazing collection. Thank you for working with Hank on such a great project.

An Extraordinary Collection

Tracy,October 27, 2021
This is very much a loveletter to everyone who loves tattoos, and an encyclopedia of tattoo information. It's dense, informative, and has incredible detail and photos. Well done!

Amazing book

Isabela,October 27, 2021
Great collection!

Eye-catcher in my collection

Kris,October 27, 2021
An eye-catcher in my book collection. Always a pleasure to browse through this book regularly. The quality of #Taschen books# is exceptional. Always nice to have them in my hands.