Good Luck

120 unique tattoo images hand picked from the Schiffmacher collection

Henk Schiffmacher


Good Luck tattoos are frequently worn by those who really need them: people you would not always call winners. Dices, eight-balls clover leafs, playing-cards, horse shoes: we use all of these symbols to appeal to lucky forces. And if they don’t help, at least you can say: you can’t win if you don’t play.



This little book, ʽnumero dosʼ in what will hopefully be a long line of publications, is dedicated in loving memory to one of the many unique characters in the wonderful world of tattooing: Sonny Tufts, a man who definitely burned the candle at both ends. Besides being a highly inspiring and loyal friend, Sonny was a fellow gladiator in the arena of tattooing. An artist known for what we call assemblages – one-of-a-kind pieces, assembled on a bright lacquered background: dices, eight-balls, clover leafs, playing
cards, horse shoes and lucky numbers.

Wherever Sonny showed up all the lucky paraphernalia would rapidly and mysteriously disappear. Always armed with a screwdriver or a Leatherman, he would cruise the neighbourhoods he visited and unscrew the numbers 7, 11 and 13 from doors, gateposts,
whatever… eight-balls disappeared from pool halls, dices and cards from casinos, horses lost their shoes, chicken their wishbones and rabbits their feet. Lucky symbols such as these are used by our industry to assemble good or bad luck tattoos, born to win
or lose tattoos, or representations of Lady Luck.

All the tattoos in this little book were handpicked from the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum archives. These types of tattoos are frequently worn by people who really need them; people you wouldn’t always call winners. Now, I wouldn’t call Sonny or any of them a loser, but born to win he was not. He was certainly born to love, though. To Sonny and all of you who were not born to win. We remember you with love, Sonny.

Rest in peace.

Henk Schiffmacher