Traditional Mermaid Tattoos

The mermaid has a long history as a subject of mythology, beauty and even danger. Finding their origin in ancient Rome and Greece, they were believed to have swum the Seven Seas, charming seamen with their beauty and siren songs. Their symbolism across many cultures is rich. A mermaid tattoo holds its place as one of the more popular maritime symbols within traditional tattooing and for good reason. The design has been popular with sailors since the early 1900s, with the mermaid tattoo often incorporating other nautical themes such as ships, anchors and other aquatic life.

Although mermaids are often described as a thing of otherworldly beauty, there are some cultures that believe them to be quite the opposite. Within British folklore, the mermaid is often associated with the foretelling of disasters such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. However, in other European cultures, they are sometimes viewed as being benevolent, offering gifts and sometimes falling in love with humans. Either way, a mermaid is always instantly recognisable with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish.

A traditional mermaid tattoo can share many of the characteristics of the American Pin-up girl. This is due to their history within the American tattooing culture. As well as making great stand-alone pieces, depth can be added by having them sitting on rocks or adding other nautical motifs.

A mermaid tattoo can hold a myriad of different meanings and symbolism. Sometimes being tattooed as an ode to the sea, one of these designs can pay tribute to a career as a sailor. The mermaid can also symbolise beauty and sensuality, with the female figure being depicted as being free and independent. Or perhaps the wearer holds meaning with dangerous connotations of the mermaid, representing destruction and seduction as a siren.

With a large spectrum of different associations, a mermaid tattoo ultimately holds a great deal of personal meaning, with the wearer deciding what they would like it to represent.

Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Just had my very first tattoo done by Ben and couldn't be more pleased. From the very first email to the shop they were supportive and very accommodating. I was so nervous but Ben made me feel at ease and I got the exact tattoo that I wanted. Such an enjoyable day. I'll be booking Ben again for the next ink I want done

~ Karen McPherson
Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Amazing experience getting my first tattoo here. The staff were excellent in helping me get an appointment that suited me. The atmosphere in the studio was great.

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Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Got my first big tattoo, half sleeve on my forearm and couldn’t of picked a better place to have it done. The artist George went Beyond my expectations and done it all in 6 hours And a it was very in-depth tattoo. I recommend this parlour all day!

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Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Got my first and second tattoo here, really nice looking place with lots of character and excellent artists and staff. I will definitely get my next tattoos here.

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Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Had a 7 hour Japanese piece done with Davide De Cinto. Service was great, Davide's work was fanastic and I feel the price was really good value for money in terms of the quality of work Davide is putting out. Highly recommended.

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