National Maritime Museum tattoo show opens

Wall of 100 hands
Image caption 100 silicon hands, decorated by different tattooists form part of the show

An exhibition marking the history of Britain's tattoo history - including a wall of 100 silicon hands decorated by leading artists - has gone on display.

Organisers say the display at Cornwall's National Maritime Museum is the largest collection of British tattoo-related objects ever assembled.

There are also sections of tattooed human skin that have been preserved, and recreated tattoo studios from different decades of the 20th Century.

The show is on until January 2018.

For more on the tattoo exhibition and other Devon and Cornwall stories

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Media captionDoc Price is 85 and still working as a tattoo artist.
Image caption A life-size sculpture of the Great Omni, a freak show performer also known as the Zebra Man, is also on display
Image copyright Gemma Angel
Image caption A pair of tattooed eyes on preserved human buttock skin is part of the display

Co-curator Dr Matt Lodder said tattooing had been a "constant presence in British social history" since the early 17th Century.

"It's not a modern trend," he added.

"If it's a craze it's been going on for 150 years."

Image caption Doc Price is thought to be the oldest living tattoo artist in the world

Doc Price, who thought to be the world's oldest living tattoo artist at the age of 85, said the new exhibition was "very important".

He said: "There isn't a great understanding of the tradition of British tattooing because most of our tattooing was based on what we thought was brought from the Orient or from the Polynesian countries.

"We always thought that was proper tattooing but now we have developed it to a very high level."

Image caption The exhibition has recreated a 1950's tattoo parlour with artefacts collected by Paul Ramsbottom who got his first tattoo at 13
Image copyright Neil Hopkin-Thomas
Image caption The exhibition is said to showcase the largest collection of original British tattoo objects ever displayed to the general public

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