Monday, April 28, 2008

Templar Tattoo

Some time ago I had a conversation with a student who told me that she was at a theme park where a man was giving henna tattoos. She asked him for a medieval-themed design, and he told her that he wasn't allowed to give any designs except for the approved ones in his book. He then slipped her a business card, and whispered that he did custom work under the table.
I thought this story of a black market in medieval tattoos was fascinating, particularly the idea of treating the body as a text (though that seems more like fodder for the In the Middle folks), so I posted a bleg asking for images of tattoos. I received none.

Until this weekend, that is. Now Shaun from near York, England, has sent me an image of his Templar. He's also planning to have a huge Templar battle scene across his back, which he estimates will take 40 hours to do.

Shaun, if you're interested, I invite you to comment on your choice. Why this knight? How long did it take? Etc?


  1. Anonymous7:31 PM

    If you're looking for medieval themed tattoos, I have a good one:


    as it appears in the Beowulf MS. I'd be glad to send you a pic if you're interested.

  2. Anonymous11:55 PM

    As soon as I can I will take a picture and send it. Bottom line:

    I made a high-quality color print of the first folio of the Beowulf MS (to scale), and brought it to the tattoo artist. She drew it up, and stitched it on with as close as we could get in the color reproduction. In fact she liked my story about it so much that she discounted the tattoo. 65%.

    While sitting in the chair that day, I made a vow, dork that I am, to never tattoo myself again with an image not taken directly from a MS.

  3. If you ever don't like an MS design and have to tattoo over it, then you can make the claim that your body is a palimpsest!

  4. I have a horn triskelion and a hannunvaakuna -- they may be older than medieval, though, I suppose.

  5. Anonymous2:41 AM

    Hi, I have templar tattoo to. Right choose brother! Enjoy!

  6. I am looking for a templar knight tattoo design. If you can email me that'd be great?