British Tattoo History Museum

The British Tattoo History Museum moved to its present location in August 1983. The collection began in 1975 when museum founder Lionel Titchener opened his first professional tattoo studio. Items bought from an old curiosity shop in Oxford were displayed in a small display case in his new studio.

Two important purchases in the late 70's formed the basis of the museum today. The first purchase was a small box of brass tattoo machines that were acquired from tattoo artist Vic Shipton of Romford when he decided to retire from tattooing. This also included a large colour design sheet signed and dated C.B. Davis, Grays Inn Road, London,1904.

This was an important addition to the collection as Charles Burchett Davis was the brother of famous tattoo artist George Burchett. Soon after another important addition was the purchase of a whole collection of Burchett-Davis designs and photographs from the family of C.B. Davis of Southend on Sea. Friends of Lionel Titchener started to send in items for the museum collection, one of the first items was a small Japanese bone hand tools donated by Jim Silles of London. The collection is situated in a small room behind the tattoo studio.

Early in 2002 part of the British Tattoo History Museum was loaned to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Beginning with Cook's first encounter with the tattooed people of Tahiti, the exhibition followed the spread of tattooing through Europe and looks at its role in contemporary fashion.

Viewing by Appointment - Now closed Due to Coronavirus.





Old Designs, Business Cards, Letterheads, News Clippings, Books, Photos, Machines, Tubes, Frames, Coils, Catalogues, Drawings, Ink Stands, Needle Packets, Needle Jigs, Tools, Springs, Shop Signs, etc

We Buy Any Tattooing Memorabilia, Any Condition.

Please send your business cards for our museum archives.

British Tattoo History Museum
389 Cowley Road

Email: Museum


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