Horseshoe tattoos are one of those designs whose purpose is designed to act as a talisman to the bearer. As with any good luck design, horseshoe tattoos may be pictured alone or with other symbols of fortune.
When getting a horseshoe tattoo it is important to decide whether it is facing up or facing down. The last couple of years old school tattoos have been gaining popularity again, up to a point where we can call them trendy. There is a difference, though – the old school tattoos might be the same, but the feeling around them is different.
Sailors and marines where the pioneers when it comes to Western tattooing, so it's not hard to see why anchors and boats appear so often in old school designs (Click here for more military tattoos).
The swallow is a sailor symbol and turns up in many old school designs, just like the eagle (Click here for more swallow tattoos). Pin up girls were models (like Betty Grable) who's photos and posters were very popular the first half of the 20th century.
Old school tattoos are usually simple in design, with a lot of black ink and little color because in the early years of tattoo art there wasn't a big choice of colored tattoo ink. Sailor Jerry joined the navy when he was 19 and traveled around the world, getting his first tattoos and gaining exposure to the tattoo art of Southeast Asia. He opened his first tattoo parlor in Honolulu's Chinatown, a place where sailors gathered to drink, pay for women and get tattoos. They also produce Sailor Jerry rum, based on the rum that sailors used to make on board of their ship.


Winston Churchill, the famous English World War II politician, had an anchor tattoo on his arm. George Clooney has a fake (temporary) old school star tattoo on his chest in the film From Dusk Till Dawn.
Horseshoe tattoos are a favorite among many people who believe that it is an object or a symbol that brings good luck. Throughout history horseshoes have been identified with good luck and this is true even to this day.
Gamblers often pair the horseshoe with playing cards or dice in the hope that the symbols will join together their symbiotic energies to increase their access to good fortune. Horseshoe tattoos that are facing up symbolize good fortune and horseshoes that are facing downward are talismans to ward off evil. Most females will select a horseshoes tattoo to represent good fortune, bring good luck, or ward off bad luck and evil spirits. The old school designs we see today are more colorful compared to the originals, thanks to the evolution of tattoo equipment. His tattoo designs are known all over the world and are in vogue again, thanks to the old school revival. The royalties to his tattoo flash are now owned by two of his students, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone.
Started by girls that were into retro, like those from the rockabilly scene, the old school designs got more and more mainstream and thereby reviving the art of Sailor Jerry.
They are seen as charms that can ward off malevolent forces and bring the bearer good fortune.


People of Irish descent may add a four-leaf clover to their horseshoe design, an act that not only shows their wish for good luck but also shows their pride in their heritage. The design of a horseshoes tattoo is fairly straight forward, generally a U-shape facing upward to supposedly catch the good luck falling from the sky.Often they are drawn with other good luck symbols such as clovers or dice to add to the luck effect.
Old school tattoos never quite disappeared from view, but a few decades ago they did sort of fade into the background. Sailor tattoos are no longer the sole property of a certain subculture, like they used to be. During the Roman times, horses were used extensively for the purposes of traveling, agriculture and warfare. All throughout Europe and the United States people nail horseshoes over the doors of their houses and barns for good luck. Horseshoe tattoos can also express a wide number of other concepts as well, such as success, power, fertility, magic, intuition and life.
The horseshoe is mostly drawn pointing upwards and can be accompanied by a host of other images, such as four leaf clovers, stars, flames, cherries, paw prints, dices, flowers, angel wings, diamonds, as well as the words “Lucky” or “Lady Luck”.



Stock pictures of birds
Photography exhibits nyc may 2014


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