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NICHOLS, Bev, as "Cindy Ray".

The Story of... A Tattooed Girl....

[Together with:] How to do Good Tattooing [and:] Cindy Ray, Catalogue No. 2 [and:] Ear Rings, Ear Piercing by Cindy Ray.

Availability: In stock

Published: Ivanhoe, Victoria Miss Cindy Ray, 1965

Stock Code: 125093

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


Rare complete set of all of legendary tattoo artist Cindy Ray's books, the copy of her practical manual inscribed inside the front panel of the wraps, "To Lowell J. Tuckwiller, Best wishes & kind regards, Cindy", with Tuckwiller's circus collection ink stamp above. Ray became an icon of tattoo culture in the early 1960s after responding to an ad for a photographic model willing to shave her eyebrows. The photographer, Harry Bartram, convinced Ray to be tattooed with the promise of fame and fortune as a "tattooed lady". While Ray became a tattoo artist herself, operating a waterfront studio outside Melbourne that catered to sailors, Bartram transformed "Cindy Ray" from a side-show act into a full-scale brand, selling tattoo guns, piercing tools and rings, instructional guides, and the like. Particularly popular with international audiences were photographs of Ray and other heavily tattooed women. The many examples seen in these volumes show enduring imagery associated with women's tattoos like swallows, butterflies and fairies along with more traditional Sailor Jerry-inspired and Japanese styles. Ray, now in her seventies and still a practising tattoo artist, has stated in recent interviews that the Cindy Ray brand was largely managed by Bartram and she was excluded from sharing in any profits. Still, Ray is regarded as a pioneer for female tattoo artists and was inducted into the Lyle Tuttle Museum's Tattoo Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ray's books are individually rare, and exceptionally so as a set. OCLC shows only single holdings for each title. Together, this group provides a detailed look into body art and modification culture at the earliest stages of its conversion from specialised subculture to the mainstream phenomenon we see today, from one of its most important and pioneering figures.

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3 volumes, octavo. Original spiral comb-bound with original laminated pictorial card wrappers, the first two with plastic combs, the last with a wire comb. With a single sheet folding brochure.


Profusely illustrated throughout.


The Story of... A Tattooed Girl: punch-strip of front wrapper professionally renewed, else a little light wear to all. Overall in very good condition.


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