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

Hardcover, 11.4 x 15.3 in., 13.49 lb, 440 pages
US$ 175
Multilingual Edition:
English, French, German
Multilingual Edition: 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.

Customer reviews (15)

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
Hardcover, 11.4 x 15.3 in., 13.49 lb, 440 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-6935-4
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German

Customer reviews (15)


Elisa, July 02, 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.

Awesome book and delivery state

Thomas, October 27, 2021
Product was delivered in excellent state and quickly. The quality of this book printing is awesome and do not present any defect. Very happy and likely to order other exceptional books !

Inspirational for any visual artist, regardless of style and medium.

Scott, October 27, 2021
The artwork in this book from cover to cover is extraordinary. Being a visual artist, I am astounded by the level of creativity, technical ability and imagination this band of under recognized artists have received throughout the ages. Bravo. And I applaud the production quality, as always, of a TASCHEN tome.

Great book, great person

Carl, October 27, 2021
Had the honor to meet Henk in person at the Brussels store. Great artist and a great book too.


Mario, February 02, 2022
Como siempre la compra ha sido perfecta, igual que la calidad de sus publicaciones.


Monika, November 03, 2021
Sehr schönes Buch im Leineneinband. Obwohl ich selbst keine Tattoos habe, war ich sofort angetan von dem Buch. Kunst auf dem Körper, die lange Traditionen und seine Geschichte in einem schön gebundenen Buch. Klasse!
TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection
TATTOO. 1730s-1970s.
Henk Schiffmacher's Private Collection
US$ 175
TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection