A Blackpool tattoo enthusiast is so desperate to provide for his kids that he is planning to sell his greatest artistic work to date – his skin.
Artur Mrozowski, who goes by the name Jaguar, endured 300 hours of pain to get his distinctive black and gold sheen that he claims covers 90 per cent of his body.
But now he has put the Jaguar pattern his wife Monika spent two years crafting up for auction on eBay – and hopes his “human leather” will fetch at least £75,000.
And Jaguar, 41, of South Shore, insists his offer is serious, although the winning bidder won’t get their prize until after he dies.
The father-of-four, who is originally from Warsaw in Poland but moved to the resort in 2009, said: “£75,000 is a lot of money but it’s nothing to someone who is really wealthy.
“I would be quite happy with that, but no less, because it took a lot of time and pain to get these tattoos.
“In my heart, I’m hoping for an even higher amount but I didn’t ask for more because I didn’t want it to look like a joke.
“People say I am crazy but we all die anyway and some people donate their organs, some people do nothing with their bodies. I have nothing to lose.”
And he claims he has spotted a lucrative market and has a unique product to offer.
He said: “It’s a bargain really. It’s the price of a new car, like a Jaguar.
“There are plenty of Rolls Royces or Jaguars out there but having a wallet made out of human Jaguar skin in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I saw a website for a company that offers bracelets, wallets and other things made out of human leather.
“People collect different things. Some have stuffed animals and some probably have stuffed humans.”
The eBay listing, which expires on March 30, says: “Human leather is the finest grain leather that is obtainable. It is the smoothest, softest leather on Earth.
“On top of that, the skin is already tattooed artistically in a unique design – jaguar skin.”
The listing has so far attracted only one bid, of 99p, but Jaguar claims the few people he has told of his plans are supportive.
Donna McGowan, owner of the Chesterfield House Guest House, on Coronation Street, said: “It really is a bit of a genius idea. He has definitely tapped into a bit of a niche market.
“A friend of mine has just left his body to science, which isn’t all that different.
“It’s really got me thinking – there are so many avenues you can go down with this. I might just put a bid in myself.”
Jaguar, who runs Jaguar Skin Tattoo Parlour on Dickson Road with his wife, said: “The main reason for doing this is my kids.
“It would give them a good start in adult life and let them decide what they want to do in life, not just what they have to do to make a living.
“My family is the most important thing to me and I want to strive to do as good as possible for them.”
But he anyone hoping to show off a new human leather wallet faces a lengthy wait, as he isn’t planning on giving up his Jaguar-pattern skin just yet.
Jaguar, who claims he turned down the offer to appear on television with model Katie Price, said: “We will make an agreement that my skin will be delivered when I pass away.
“The tattoos cost a lot – not in terms of money but because of the pain and because at first my wife did not want to do the tattoos.
“She thought it was a sin to change the natural body and it took time to persuade her – and now she is one of the best tattoo artists in Europe.”
One website that appears to be UK-based – but is in fact registered in India – claims its human leather goods are legal.
It says it caters to a “highly discerning clientele” and its prices start at £7,500 for a wallet, with a pair of shoes costing a cool £15,000.
But legal or not, the listing would appear to flout eBay’s rules, which state “humans, the human body, or any human body parts” cannot be sold on the site.
The company did not respond to The Gazette’s request for a comment.
Human remains are also used around the world for medical treatment, including the use of skin to treat burns patients.
But in 2012, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found links between the industry and the black market.