This second volume of the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia is an essential companion to the critically acclaimed first volume. It features previously unpublished drawings and photographs from the extraordinary archives of Danzig Baldaev and Sergei Vasiliev.
During his lifetime as a guard in St Petersburg's notorious Kresty Prison, Baldaev diligently recorded over 3,000 criminals' tattoos and their coded meanings. His drawings form a unique gallery; a passport into a hidden world of shovel-faced politicians, fornicating devils, messages tangled in barbed wire. Tattoos on hands, feet, legs, torsos, foreheads, eyelids, buttocks and genitals all take their place in this fascinating document of a rapidly disappearing criminal society, where history, status and even sexual preference are indelibly etched on the body.
Introduction by Anne Applebaum, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize.