Before Silicon Valley was ever known as such, there were plenty of billionaires and multi-millionaires building extravagant, hill-top homes.
One such mansion was built by the de Guignés, a family of French nobility who emigrated in the 19th century and enmeshed themselves with San Francisco’s elite.
Seventy-eight-year-old heir Christian de Guigné IV is now trying to sell his family’s Gilded Age estate — called de Guigné Court — which hasn’t changed hands in 150 years. This will be his second attempt at offloading the property, which has been cut from $US100 million to $US40 million and no longer includes a condition that granted de Guigné “lifelong use” of the home.
Keep scrolling to take a tour of the house and learn more about its strange terms of sale.
Nestled at the top of the hills overlooking the Santa Clara Valley sits a 47-acre estate with a fascinating history.
The estate has spent 150 years in the de Guigné family, who are descended from French nobility and rose to prominence in the early 20th century after a number of successful business ventures.
The grandson of Christian II, who built the mansion, Christian de Guigné IV is now seemingly desperate to sell his family home.
De Guigné put the mansion up for sale in 2013 for an asking price of $100 million. He also had a clause in the home's contract that the buyer must let him live out the rest of his days in the house.
Even so, the period touches like the golden chandelier and huge paned windows provide a unique charm.
The house was designed by architects Bliss & Faville, who built many early 20th Century buildings in San Francisco that are still standing today.
Forget about a normal dining room -- this mansion has an entire ballroom, which has hosted society galas, social dinners, and even the occasional US president, according to the listing.
That includes five primary bedrooms, five full baths, and two half-baths. It also includes five original staff bedrooms with two baths.
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