PUBLICATION DATA: None. Probably 1890 to 1928, perhaps produced for the tourist trade. Not an early 19th c book because of the colour work, but the very fine lacquer work suggests that it is turn of the century, probably before the suppression of tat. Novelty Small panorama leporello.
Parabaiks like these were produced as sample tattoo books. From the British museum, manuscript similar to ours: "The manuscript is a digest of tattoo designs for a potential client to choose from, and would have been used by the tattooer to advertise his range of work." The traditional tattoos had religious or magical powers and both protected the wearer and gave him strength. This book has 27 different tattoos, black outlined coloured drawings surrounded by text, some on double spreads and some single pages: elephants brandishing swords, goddesses riding tigers, magical birds, and creatures bearing magic squares and circles, fish, chicken headed snakes, and circles of lizards and many animals with human or goddess heads.
CONDITION: Very Good; no marks, or tears; the black lacquer is a bit dulled. I have not attempted to clean it. There is a small, dark brown 1x1.5 cm chip (3/8"x1/4") in the black lacquer on one back corner and a small bump and 0.4cm (3/16") crack on a front corner tip. The bird has a dull scratch near its head. The pages are Fine, bright, unwrinkled, and extremely clean; the folds are bright and are not rubbed or torn at all and the corners are sharp. Item #21908