Nowadays you can’t imagine pirate without tattoos, that, to tell the truth had also the functions of amulets. The bunch of lightning on the left forearm meant the symbol of bravery and might. Skull or even several skulls on the same forearm is the symbol of despise to the enemies. The tattoo of the crucified Christ on the back saved from execution: it was the most valuable and practice pirate tattoo design – who will try to beat the Savior? And thus the applicant of such tattoo design often avoided deserved punishment. Sometimes pirate tattoo designs represented the inscription that was good for everything: "God save the sailor!". The pirate tattoo representing the flotation ring guaranteed the saving from dangers, anchor meant hope and lighthouse – the successful return home. In pirate tattoos naked girl meant success in love affairs.
There is an interesting fact that in the middle of the 19th century in the USA Navy Army a great scandal was aroused because of such tattoo design representing naked beauties, were considered offensive. After long debates there was produced an interesting decision – to make naked girls wear clothes!
Among pirates there was a popular pirate tattoo design – the talisman that represented the gallows pole with hung man and the crow sitting on the gallows pole. It was considered that the one who is applied such a pirate tattoo (and also those who have the rope of hung man) will never be punished. The most popular pirate tattoo for arms was the mariner’s card with heart, anchor and two magic triangles, what was designed to bring luck in long sea travels.
Later in the times of steam boats the greasers of all fleets applied the original "greaser" pirate tattoos. The tattoo was applied to buttocks and represented two greasers (and sometimes it could be even devils), that held coal on their shovels. Negroes were tattooed so skillfully that when walking it was the effect of greasers putting coal into furnace.
Also the Russian navy history had a good example of sea talisman pirate tattoo. In the first trip around the world (1803-1806) on the ship “Hope” after the commandment of captain-lieutenant Ivan Kruzenstern also earl Feodor Tolstoy took part, who lately was called as “Tolstoy-american”. After attending Hawaiian Islands Tolstoy, as the most of Russian sailors, applied a tattoo, but not a regular one – he applied the whole complex of tattoos for saving in the battle. After ending of that sail and coming back to St. Petersburg, he took part in several dozens of duels, killed eleven enemies but didn’t get a single scratch.
Tolstoy highly believed in the saving properties of this tattoo, but he didn’t mind all the specific things about such pirate tattoo design. The wife of earl Tolstoy gave birth to eleven children, but all of them died in childhood. Tolstoy himself considered it to be the punishment for the people killed in duels and, as people said, he was very disappointed that in Hawaii he didn’t apply special guardian pirate tattoos for his children safety.
Pirate tattoos are usually vivid and stylish and will well fit for grown-ups and for adults. Usually they can be applied to any body part and can look very realistic. They are connected highly with pirate and sea themes and are of the same style. That’s why in pirate tattoo designs many characters can be combined – the pirate flag, the pirate with the bottle of rum, sea dragon destroying the ship and so on. The variety of pirate tattoo designs is great, so you will always find what you need if this theme is for you. Good luck with your choice!