“That Buddha made this impression on me growing up,” the 54-year-old Mr. Chachas later said almost a half-century. In 2005, the Buddha loomed large again. 225,000 for arranging the offer. OK, he asked, think about providing me the Buddha instead? Former Gump’s president Jed Pogran recalled it was an afterthought to get the deal done. “I don’t think anyone understood how fine a thing this is,” he said. 800 throughout a 1957 buying trip in Kyoto, Japan. “I believe they were just happy never to have to create me a check,” Mr. Chachas recalled. As a young child, what was your object of desire? Join the discussion below.
The only condition was that the solid wood Qing dynasty Buddha would need to stay put. Mr. Chachas pledged to swap in a look-alike if he ever made a decision to remove the real one. “It seemed in good hands where it was, so I was pleased to there leave it,” Mr. Chachas said. Two brothers, Gustave and Solomon Gump, founded the store in 1861. It began as a mirror-and-frame shop, and later sold art to fill up its frames during the inhabitants surge in the years after the California Gold Rush. The store moved to Union Square following the original location burned in the 1906 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA earthquake.
Gump’s sent buyers across the ASIA to stock its shelves with Asian artworks, jewelry, silks and fine furniture, some ending up at William Randolph Hearst’s mansion in San Simeon, Calif. Franklin D. Roosevelt was thought to have bought ship models and smoking spencer there. Actress Sarah Bernhardt found a bronze snake for her Cleopatra role. Since the 1970s, Gump’s transformed hands several times and expanded in to the catalog business. Mr. Chachas, meantime, grew up to be always a deal banker initially Boston, Merrill Lazard and Lynch . 580 million purchase of TV channels by E.W.
Scripps Co. and the sale of Rolling Stone journal. 500,000 of his own money. He said it was the only time he bartered an investment offer: “It was something I thought was really special, so I thought, ‘Why not? Sales at Gump’s slumped in the following years, under the same stresses squeezing other bricks-and-mortar suppliers. The store submitted for bankruptcy security last summertime and started a liquidation sale.
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About the only item without a sale tag was the Buddha, and Mr. Chachas thought it was time for you to take it home. By enough time Mr. Chachas offered to make the swap, Gump’s was getting ready to close its doors after 157 years running a business. Gump’s proceeded to go dark two times before Christmas, leaving Mr. Chachas with both Buddhas, the initial and the replica.
Now, he has one just. At the final end of May, Mr. Chachas offered the original Buddha on the market at Christie’s in Hong Kong. 4 million, reflecting the booming market in Asian antiquities and artwork. The sale price was nearly 18 times the charge Mr. Chachas had sought in the Gump’s deal.
“Sometimes it’s easier to be lucky than smart,” he said. When informed of the auction price, Art Berliner, whose WaldenVC was the lead investor in the 2005 offer, said: “Well, good for John,” and then up hung. Philip Smith, whose firm Stone Canyon Venture Partners was one of the investors, said: “Hats off to him. Mr. Chachas said he prepared to use the public sale proceeds to relaunch Gump’s this year.
650,000 for the store’s intellectual property, including its brand name, trademarks and customer list. “Gump’s is such a remarkable company with such an amazing history, and we actually want to keep that story alive,” said Mr. Chachas’s daughter, Anne Chachas, who’ll maintain charge of revamping the continuing business. The family has already hired several former Gump’s executives and is scouting the Bay Area for a store location. If they find one, Mr. Chachas said, the Buddha replica will also have a new home.