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George Burchett; King of Tattooists

George Burchett; King of Tattooists
May 12
17:30 2018

George Burchett; Born in Brighton, a Legend of His Time:

George Burchett himself, from Gettyimages.

George Burchett was born in 1872 in the city of Brighton in the UK. So he grew up on the south-coast of England, in the famous harbor city. Though he came from a modest background, through his life, he became the most famous tattoo artist in the world.

George started at a very young age. Before even turning 12, by which time he got expelled from school for tattooing his classmates. He had already been tattooing his little brother, who were no more than 5 when George first did some scratchings on him, in exchange for candy. Luckily his passion remained as he got older, and started travelling the world as part of the Royal Navy (which he joined at 13).

Designs by George Burchett

The many travels George went on, all over the world, throughout his life, was his greatest inspiration. That is the main reason why he as the best and became so famous. He constantly created new tattoo designs, inspired by his travels. Everything from Japanese, African and South East Asian design influences, could be easily seen in his style.
It could be no more fitting, that he continued to tattoo, doing what he loved, until his death in 1953.

His Clientele; From Paupers To Royals:

Much can be said about the legendary tattooer. His style is as we discussed, iconic to this day and his skill was part of creating today’s tattoo scene, world wide. One of the most amazing things about Burchett’s career, which was part of crowning him the king of tattooing, for the years to come. Was his clientele.

Like most tattoo artists at the time, he started out tattooing working class men, which he had a lot of throughout his career. But when he began tattooing in London, his amazing skill became famous all over europe. He started tattooing London as well as Europe’s elite. Lords, business men and many more. But more so than any of his achievements, he became a popular tattoo artists among the Royals of Europe.

The list of Royals he might have tattooed is long, but among the one’s we can confirm for sure, are some heavy hitters. He tattooed Frederik ix of Denmark, Alfonso xiii of Spain and last but certainly not least, George the Vth of the United Kingdom. All of whom were ruling monarchs by the time they hired George to tattoo them.

Frederik IX of Denmark

Final Comment:

There are many more fascinating things about George Burchett (read more), which we haven’t even begun to touch upon. We highly recommend people look up this awesome legend of Tattoo History and Culture, in their own time, to learn more of his fascinating life. He was surely an awesome man, hopefully he is remembered at least to some extent, as a national treasure in his home country.

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About Author

Mads

Mads

Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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