Collectors are known for wearing their hearts on their sleeves, but most of us don’t take it this literally. A story in Elle Decor magazine pointed out an unexpected new trend among young adults: Tiffany Lamp tattoos. The article quoted tattoo artists from locations as far apart as Wisconsin and Los Angeles, all of whom had noticed an increase in customers in their 20s and 30s asking for Tiffany lamp tattoos.

Lamp Lady TattoosLos Angeles-based artist Beth Mintzer, a.k.a. Lamp Lady Tattoos, estimates that
she gets five requests a month for lamp tattoos. “Our mothers and grandmothers
loved these lamps,” fans of Tiffany lamp tattoos say. Photos courtesy of Lamp Lady Tattoos

While the lamps are the latest trend, they’re not the only antiques appearing in tattoos. A look at the work of tattoo artist Beth Mintzer, who has had so many requests for Tiffany lamps that she calls her business “Lamp Lady Tattoos,” also shows designs based on Art Nouveau motifs, stained glass windows, antique silverware, and even furniture. Porcelain patterns are another source of inspiration for tattoo designs, with the website RattaTattoo pointing out the popularity of blue-and-white Delft-inspired tattoos. In 2017, Antique Trader met a collector at the National Association of Breweriana Advertising Convention who had a tattoo of a favorite brand’s mascot!

Tattoo artists believe nostalgia is the major factor. Artist (and Tiffany lamp owner) Hayley Quinn, who posted a video on Instagram of her process of tattooing a lamp with a colorful stained-glass shade on a client’s skin, recalled to Elle Décor staff how “our mothers and grandmothers” loved these lamps. According to the Pew Research Center, the most common reason for getting a tattoo, provided by 69% of American adults with tattoos, is “to honor or remember someone or something.” With authentic Tiffany lamps selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, a tattoo sounds like a more economical investment. Potentially longer lasting, too.

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