The Only Tattoo Artist in Scotland (in 1925)

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Imagine what it would be like to be the one and only tattoo artist in your entire country. Pretty cool, right? Well, in 1925 Scottish tattoo artist Prince Vallar could lay claim to that title. ScotlandsPeople, a genealogy website run by Scotland's government, has named Vallar the most unusual person of 1925. After going through the valuation rolls (information about ownership and tenancy of land gathered for the assessment of property taxes) it was determined that Vallar was the only Scot to list his occupation as "tattooer."

As cool as it might be to imagine the lone tattooer of Scotland being a member of the royal family Prince Vallar was not an actual prince, nor was he actually Scottish. Vallar was born in Ireland and given the name of Patrick Henson. From his earliest days Vallar led an interesting life—his father was a magician who toured alongside Buffalo Bill and Harry Houdini. Eventually Vallar would find his way to Glasgow where he would begin his tattooing career. Prior to opening a shop in 1935 it is thought that Vallar likely visited people at their homes in order to tattoo them, although he may have done some work out of his modest apartment.

Vallar was notable not only for being the lone tattooist in Scotland, but also because he chose to freehand all of his work. Without working from transfers Vallar created impressive, single-needle designs that earned him acclaim the world over, according to BBC News.