Humans have long associated the naked skull with the inevitability of death: the gaping black eye sockets and twisted eternal grin strike both fear and fascination into most mortal hearts.
But what if death really was smiling on all of us, reminding us to have a hell of a good time on the way to the grave?
The top hat wearing skull is just that, a figure of nebulous origins who has tap danced through the centuries and multiple regions, representing a devil-may-care debonair attitude about death’s demise. Featured in artwork and cultural festivities, the “gentleman skull” has made appearances in Haitian hoodoo rites, the Mexican Día de Muertos, cigarette advertisements, jewelry designs, nightlife promotions, secret society emblems, and even a James Bond film.
A top hatted skull tattoo is both stylishly modern and gothically timeless. Drawn in either a colorfully cartoonish manner or black and white Edward Gorey rendition, wherever this life of the underworld party is worn and in whatever style, it is a tattoo for the man with a similar take on his own mortality. Life is a journey worth savoring, in all its highs and lows, so he may as well tip his hat to the reaper.