Signed passport photograph of Jack London and a handwritten note from London to Bernice Piilani Irwin.
White matte in a wooden frame. Framing by Ursula Habson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Full piece measures 11.5″ x 15″. Passport photograph shows faint foxing, measures 2.25″ x 2.25″. Photo taken by Arnold Genthe, signed by London along bottom edge. Note in fine condition, measures 4.5″ x 3″.
The note reads: “To Piilani: When you come, come not to me bringing the tops of the taro. Jack London, Honolulu, July 10, 1916.” Items not examined out of frame.
Bernice Piilani Irwin was married to Edward Payson Irwin, editor of the Honolulu Advertiser. Piilani often shared Hawaiian folklore with London, including a creation story in which Man came from taro tops, the root of which is a staple crop. On July 8, 1916, Piilani, London, and his wife Charmain all attended a dinner party thrown by Bruce Cartwright. After the party, Piilani fell ill and was admitted to the hospital for a burst appendix. When London came to visit her in the hospital, he brought a bouquet with this note card attached. The passport photo was torn from London’s The Cruise of the Snark (1911) and given to Edith B. Williams, sister of Bruce Cartwright, by the author.