Leonardo DiCaprio, with Savannah, Mark’s daughter. We first came in contact with Leonardo on the movie “The Aviator.” One of the props that we rented to Miramax was a massive executive desk. The set decorator, Francesca Lo Schiavo, who has won two academy awards, one for The Aviator, made me a promise that she would get Leonardo to autograph inside the pencil drawer if I would help her select the right things for the movie. So the deal with struck. When the desk was returned to us, on the inside of the pencil drawer, it said, “Howard Hughes—The Aviator Leonardo DiCaprio”. How cool was that? When the desk was returned, we ran it on eBay and it sold for $25,000 the next day. It was purchased by a San Francisco collector who has subsequently become a customer.


Leonardo came into our store about a year later on a Saturday afternoon. He drove up in his red Mini Cooper convertible with the top down. Leo was with a fantastic looking girl and another couple. This girl turned out to be Gisele Bündchen, of Victoria’s Secret fame. He was extremely friendly and my daughter Savannah played the piano for him as he likes music. He carefully selected an Art Deco chandelier, received a nice discount and told me that he would return the following week after he made a decision. Sure enough he came back on Wednesday and paid for it. We delivered it to him on Friday and he has been a friend ever since.

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