Sutherland Macdonald: Fascinating Photos Of UK First Tattoo Artist

Sutherland Macdonald was considered by many to be one of the greatest artists in the history of tattooing. It is said that his first exposure to tattooing was in the British Army in the 1880s. Already being an accomplished artist, Macdonald picked up the tattoo needles with ease. It was after getting out of the army that he started tattooing professionally. Sutherland opened a tattoo parlor in London in 1889, in the Victorian England! This new profession quickly becomes popular, so much so that the Post Office Directory must invent the title tattooist, to list it in its directories in 1894.
He worked first with hand tools, and in 1894 received a British patent for his electric tattooing machine. An 1897 Strand Magazine article written by Gambier Bolton stated, “that for shading or heavy work Macdonald still used Japanese tools, ivory handles and all”.
Among his clients are many personalities of the time, such as the sons of Queen Victoria, the King of Norway or the King of Denmark. Here is a selection of the creations of this tattoo pioneer!

Sutherland Macdonald: Fascinating photos of UK first tattoo artist

Sutherland Macdonald: Fascinating photos of UK first tattoo artist

Sutherland Macdonald: Fascinating photos of UK first tattoo artist

Sutherland Macdonald: Fascinating photos of UK first tattoo artist

Sutherland Macdonald: Fascinating photos of UK first tattoo artist

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