Tattooing A to Z #4: George Bone, “Baron von Bone”

George Bone, born in 1945, first became interested in tattoos when, as a boy, he saw some tattoos on a member of his family. George was fifteen when got his first tattoo from Cash Cooper of Piccadilly Circus (London) in 1960, and went into opening his own tattoo studio in the early 1970s.

George also continued to get tattooed himself, with Rich Mingins and Jack Zeek doing quite a bit of George’s early tattoo work. In fact, Jack Zeek tattooed George’s chest, back, arms and hands. But it wasn’t until he met Billy Skuse at Bill’s Aldershot tattoo shop that he really started to get his body covered, with Bill becoming one of George’s big influences in the tattoo profession at the time.

George Bone, Watercolour by Pepe
George Bone, Watercolour by Pepe

George Bone tattooed (in the early days) at 13 Cedar Grove, South Ealing, on Sunday, from 1 pm to 6 pm. Back then he used to close his studio at 58a Boston Road on Wednesday, instead of the Tuesday’s he now shuts up shop, to have a day off.

George, who once called himself “Baron von Bone”, is one of tattooing’s top artists and he’s one of the very best in regards to getting good strong color into the skin. His style of work borders to the macabre and his studio in Boston Road, Hanwell, London, sports many skulls which George calls “his friends”. The macabre theme of the studio decor was spawned in the early 80s by himself, and has constantly been added to and improved over the years.

An award-winning artist, who has featured in everything from books to magazines, tv and videos, as well as appearing for many years in the Guinness Book of Records as Britain‘s most tattooed man, was married to Patricia (in 1967) and sells skull-related items (mirrors, ashtrays, skulls, etc.) which he makes himself. Several of the items have been used as prizes at many of the UK’s tattoo conventions over the years.

George Bone via William Glen, WGPhotography
George Bone via William Glen, WGPhotography

George has also been tattooed by tattooers of the likes of Don Ed Hardy, who did his neck, but much of his work that got him into the Guinness book was done by Rusty and the late Bill Skuse.

George, as you have probably worked out, has always run a one-man business along with his wife Pat, an indispensable business partner who helped him to established the shop George Bone Tattoos, making it one of London’s original tattoo studios. George was made an honorary member of the Tokai Tattooers Reunion Of Japan Tattoo Club on the 12th of January 1974.