Tattoos have forever slipped in and out of fashion. Back in the 1870’s it was the wealthy and elite who could afford the creative services of a professional tattoo artist.
Today we can rekindle the charm and beauty of a bygone era by cabbaging designs that were prominent not only in tattoos, but in nature and beauty as well.
Skeleton Keys- Ornate and finely detailed, Victorian tattoo designs often include classic skeleton lock and key. Who holds the key to your heart?
Sparrows- Are you considering a Victorian tattoo design featuring a bird? Whenever you are lost- the sparrow will lead you home.
Snakes- During the Victorian Era snakes were a symbol of eternal love. Isn’t that ssspecial?
Cameos- Less is not more when it comes to jewelry tattoos. Go ahead and put butter over bacon and opt for an extravagant collection of accessories such as carved and framed cameo portrait tattoos.
Acorn Tattoos: From little acorns mighty oaks grow. Acorn tattoos symbolize personal growth and prosperity and make a very unique Victorian tattoo design.
Evergreen Wreath Tattoos: For the vintage and dark soul, a circular evergreen wreath signified eternal life and was often carved onto Victorian headstones.
Portraits- From Marie Antoinette to Victorian-inspired Pin-Ups, portrait tattoos add height (look at that hair!) and refinement to a vintage body art collection.
Ivy Vines-Ivy is one of the most romantic of vines signifying marriage, love, and loyalty (just try to get rid of it).
Mirror Tattoos- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, I Am the Finest of them All. There now,say that three times with the lights out and spin. See what happens.
Rose Tattoos- Roses are, by far, one of the loveliest choices for flower tattoos, and Victorian ladies wore many red rose fashions and accessories to symbolize budding love and romance.
Art Nouveau- Marrying flora with fauna, gilded and winged insects crawled over blouses, pins and millinery. The dragonfly, butterfly and bumblebee were the most common symbols in nature-inspired Art Nouveau, as they each symbolized good luck.
According to an article written by R.J. Stephen for Harmsworth Monthly Pictorial Magazine, an estimated 100,000 London residents had tattoos. So think twice before calling tattoos “mainstream.” Any of the above mentioned Victorian tattoo designs will help capture the refined and modest era of the late 1800’s.
Image courtesy Chris Smith @ Sinful Inflictions and Amber Malinski