Jack London's "The Snark", Port of Tahiti, 1907 by Alphonse Emile Sondag

Jack Londons The Snark, Port of Tahiti, 1907 by Alphonse Emile Sondag

Jack London's "The Snark", Port of Tahiti, 1907

Alphonse Emile Sondag


Jack London's "The Snark", Port of Tahiti, 1907

c. 1920  
oil painting 
Image Size
25 x 32" canvas 
pigment, lower right 
Edition Size
titled in ink on the stretcher bars, verso 
Inventory ID

A painting by Alphonse E. Sondag, who eventually moved to Kenwood, California, near where Jack London's 26 room 'Wolf House' stood on his 1200 acre 'Wonder Ranch'. This composition depicts London's boat 'The Snark' entering the harbor in Tahiti in 1907.

The Snark was named after Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark. She had two masts and was 45 feet long at the waterline and 55 feet on deck, and London claimed to have spent thirty thousand dollars on her construction. She was primarily sail powered; however, she also had an auxiliary 70-horsepower engine. She carried one lifeboat.

After many delays, Jack and Charmian London sailed with a small crew out of San Francisco Bay on April 23, 1907, bound for the South Pacific with plans for a seven-year, round-the-world voyage. The travel route took them to Hawaii, the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, and then to the Island of Guadalcanal, where London fell ill.

In December of 1908, the decision was made to suspend the cruise, and the Londons sailed on another ship to Sydney to seek medical attention. It was feared Jack London had leprosy, but he was subsequently diagnosed with psoriasis. The doctor advised that the around-the-world venture be called off, and the Londons returned to California. The fate of 'The Snark' is not known, though many stories abound.


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