Hourglass Tattoo

hourglass tattoo

Hourglass Tattoo History

Invented in Alexandria somewhere around 150 B.C., the hourglass plays an important part in the life of history. Used to measure time accurately and repeatedly, hourglasses saved the lives of many before someone invented the modern clock.

hourglass tattoo

While primitive, their small measurements helped synchronize groups of people. Few alternatives match the abilities of the hourglass.

Hourglass Tattoo Meaning

When the hourglass’s popularity spread from Egypt into northern countries, the strange depiction of time captured the hearts of artists and philosophers. It was the only symbol that could depict both the past and the present at the same time, so it came to represent both life and death. Its sands would flow regardless of the elements around it—just as a person’s life winds down at a steady pace, regardless of their good or bad deeds—so it was also used to instill a fear of death into people. Pirates adopted it for their flags, and people still place it on gravestones and coffins.