HAMBLY, W.D. The History of Tattooing and its Significance with some account of other corporal marking.

(London): H. F. & G. Witherby, 1925. First edition. Octavo. 346 pages. One of the most complete histories of world tattoo practices. It was written at the end of a significant era in anthropological fieldwork, when the efforts of missionaries and the impact of European imperialism had suppressed all but the final vestiges of indigenous native tattoo traditions. Subsequent opportunities for original fieldwork related to tattooing were rare, making this book a valuable link to vanishing cultures. Drawing on archaeological evidence, Hambly puts forward the suggestion that tattooing spread from Egypt and the Middle East towards Asia around 2000 B.C. where Japan is then thought of as a major pivot in spreading the practice, with the possibility Ainu carried their tattooing south to the Pacific. As well as providing a historical account of tattoo distribution, the volume provides details on the technique of body marking and valuable information in relation to religious practices and belief, as well as its relationship with magic, and its social (and anti-social purposes) purposes. The volume is illustrated with numerous photographs, text figures and a fold-out map. A very good copy in original red cloth with gilt decoration, and lettering to the spine. Cloth with some areas of slight discolouration. Scarce in commerce.


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