London: Oldbourne Book Company Ltd., 1958.
First Edition. Hardcover. 8 3/4" X 5 5/8". 222pp. Moderate edgewear to unclipped dust jacket, with British Book Centre label to front flap, presumably covering price. Small tears to edges and extremities of dust jacket, with light dust soiling to rear panel. Red cloth over boards, with spine lettered in gilt. Binding is sound. Pages are clean and unmarked.
"King of Tattooists" George Burchett (1872-1953) started his illustrious career as one of the most famous tattoo artists in the world and one of the first celebrity tattooists at the humble age of 12, when he was expelled from school for tattooing his classmates. Burchett then joined the Royal Navy, developing his tattooing skills as he sailed the world on the HMS Vincent, then jumped ship, evading reprimand for 12 years before returning to England to apprentice under Tom Riley. Burchett would go on to tattoo such figures as King Oscar of Sweden, Lady Randolph Churchill (mother of Winston), Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, the Princes and Princess Waldemar of Denmark, Prince George of Greece, and the sideshow performer The Great Omi (Horace Leonard Ridler, also known as The Zebra Man). Along the way, Burchett also developed cosmetic tattooing. Illustrated throughout in photographs and rich with Burchett's curious adventures, this true first printing of Memoirs of a Tattooist is a fascinating inside look at a larger than life tattoo artist in the first half of the 20th Century. Very good + / very good. Item #3502