40 Mysterious Victorian Tattoos

jentheripper in Tattoo Ideas

We owe a lot to Victorian era when it comes to tattoos.

Indeed, under the reign of Queen Victoria, tattoo started to be seen as a recreational activity, both for entertainment (with freak shows displaying heavily tattooed men and women) and personal pleasure (the future King Edward VII and many aristocrats of the time got some ink when travelling in the colonies).

Victorian tattooed circus ladies.
Victorian tattooed circus ladies.

Victorian era also gave birth to the steampunk genre, a science-fiction aesthetic combining dapper victorian iconography and futuristic steam-powered machines. Steampunk is of course coveted for tattoo designs, yet often mistaken with biomechanical and mechanical tattoos. Die hard steampunk’s fans are worshipping Tesla, Edison and Jules Verne.It is not all about the gears, it is more about the funny misappropriation of this part of history inhabited by wise and fair British ladies and gentlemen.

But Victorian era was not that calm. This is the period that has produced the fathers of horror, Bram Stocker and his vampires, Edgar Allan Poe and his gothic mysteries, Robert Louis Stevenson and his Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and of course, leaded to the spooky monsters of H.P. Lovecraft. Popular culture also owes a lot to Victorian murderers, especially Jack the Ripper and the barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, and to the dark humor of Oscar Wilde.

Finally, life is good in the light of the famous London gas street light and in the dark street of the East End ! Not surprising then that they have inspired some disturbing and dark tattoos. Ready for a fun time travel ? Check those weird yet lovely Victorian tattoos…

Lovecraftian portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Benjamin Laukis.
Lovecraftian portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Benjamin Laukis.
Awesome Jack the Ripper and London light half sleeve by Pavel Roach.
Awesome Jack the Ripper and London light half sleeve by Pavel Roach.

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

Breathtaking photorealistic East End sleeve by Matteo Pasqualin.
Breathtaking photorealistic East End sleeve by Matteo Pasqualin.
Another fantastic Victorian London sleeve by Matteo Pasqualin !
Another fantastic Victorian London sleeve by Matteo Pasqualin !
Spooky Victorian man portrait by Jason Butcher.
Spooky Victorian man portrait by Jason Butcher.
Fun Sherlock Holmes tattoo by Joel Thompson.
Fun Sherlock Holmes tattoo by Joel Thompson.
Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd, the bloody barber of Fleet Street.
Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd, the bloody barber of Fleet Street.
Steampunk pin-up.
Steampunk pin-up.
Trash polka style of Poe by Chris Adamek.
Trash polka style of Poe by Chris Adamek.
Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde feet tats by Daniel Formentin.
Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde feet tats by Daniel Formentin.
Another version of the Jekyll/Hyde antagonism by Fat Manu.
Another version of the Jekyll/Hyde antagonism by Fat Manu.
Another London sleeve by Florian Karg.
Another London sleeve by Florian Karg.
Jack the Ripper backpiece by Fredde.
Jack the Ripper backpiece by Fredde.
Pretty Victorian lady by Hilary Jane Peterson.
Pretty Victorian lady by Hilary Jane Peterson.
Haha ! Nicked !
Haha ! Nicked !
Victorian skeleton lady by Jason Lambert.
Victorian skeleton lady by Jason Lambert.
Vintage illustrations created by Jean-Luc Navette.
Vintage illustrations created by Jean-Luc Navette.
Cute steampunk cat by Jesse Pinette !
Cute steampunk cat by Jesse Pinette !
Victorian vampire girl by Johann Florendo.
Victorian vampire girl by Johann Florendo.
Lovecraft's inspired Victorian lady by Josh Ross : weird but great !
Lovecraft's inspired Victorian lady by Josh Ross : weird but great !
New school Poe by Kurtis Katzmann.
New school Poe by Kurtis Katzmann.
Impressive Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde sleeve by Leo Barrachina.
Impressive Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde sleeve by Leo Barrachina.
Nice Poe by Lorenzo of Evil Machines.
Nice Poe by Lorenzo of Evil Machines.
Gorgeous old school Victorian sleeve by Matt Houston.
Gorgeous old school Victorian sleeve by Matt Houston.
Nice steampunk owl by Maximillian Rothert.
Nice steampunk owl by Maximillian Rothert.
Dapper dead animals by Melissa Szeto. Victorian people were fascinated by Death.
Dapper dead animals by Melissa Szeto. Victorian people were fascinated by Death.
Fun Victorian cat by Miguel Angel !
Fun Victorian cat by Miguel Angel !
Victorian lady with a corset by Miles of Frith Street.
Victorian lady with a corset by Miles of Frith Street.
Steampunk pin-up by Isabelle Vannucci at True Colour Tattoos in Glasgow, United Kingdom
Steampunk pin-up by Isabelle Vannucci at True Colour Tattoos in Glasgow, United Kingdom
Victorian era inspired tattoos
Victorian era inspired tattoos
This portait of Queen Victoria has some sense of humor ...
This portait of Queen Victoria has some sense of humor ...
Steampunk Lincoln someone ?
Steampunk Lincoln someone ?
Nice thigh tattoos of Victorian zombies by Sunny Buick.
Nice thigh tattoos of Victorian zombies by Sunny Buick.
Jack the Ripper tattoo by Teneile Napoli.
Jack the Ripper tattoo by Teneile Napoli.
Lovely vampire tattoo by Tvia Dark.
Lovely vampire tattoo by Tvia Dark.
Victorian zombie girl !
Victorian zombie girl !
Fun Sweeney Todd by Aliens Ink.
Fun Sweeney Todd by Aliens Ink.
Another Edgar Poe tattoo by Vinny Romanelli.
Another Edgar Poe tattoo by Vinny Romanelli.

jentheripper

@JenTheRipper

Writer for art related medias. Fell in love with tattoo while researching for another passion, crime history. Travelling, admiring, sharing.

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