Park Life. Photo: David Secombe. (2/5)

Brockwell Park. © David Secombe 2000.

From Pictures in the Human Skin by Gambier Bolton, Strand Magazine, 1897:

… in London at the present moment is produced the very finest tattooing the world has ever seen; for Mr. Sutherland Macdonald, whilst in the Royal Engineers, used often to watch the men working with their roughly made needles in the barrack-room, and having always had a taste for figure and landscape painting, he was at last induced to give his attention to tattooing, with the result that in a few years’ time he has not only equalled the work done by the Japanese, but has even excelled them. In Macdonald’s albums we find drawings and paintings gathered from all quarters of the globe, and of all and every kind, quaint, humorous, and pathetic, but each one specially selected for the purpose of being reproduced by the tattooing needles, and in more than one instance the copyright of some particularly striking picture has actually been purchased outright, so that no one but the wealthier patrons of [MacDonald’s] Jermyn Street studio shall have the use of them.

Turning over the leaves, we notice, amongst other quaint designs at this moment adorning the bodies of some of our best known society men, three five-pound notes, full size, on which, perhaps, the owner can “raise the wind,” if at any time short of a cab-fare, by placing himself in temporary pawn; a fox hunt in full cry, horses and their scarlet-coated riders, with a very level pack of hounds careering down the owners back in wild pursuit of a “little red rascal,” racing for his life; whilst on more than plucky individual, who rumour says has an extremely tender epidermis, not content with a handsome pair of dark blue socks with scarlet “clocks” on his feet, has lately been adorned with all manner of strange designs, from his neck down to the top of the socks, and this at quite a fabulous price, when we bear in mind the length of time it must have taken to carry out such a large order.

[Complete article here, courtesy of the Vanishing Tattoo Museum.]

 


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