• OAKLAND, California
  • /
  • April 23, 2012

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This historic photo, taken in 1900, captures the elaborate magnificence of James C. Flood’s Menlo Park estate he named Linden Towers.


On May 19th and 20th, Clars will host what is possibly their richest sale to date. Rich in terms of historic and investment quality property as well as special collections and fine art from consignors and estates reaching from Texas to Hawaii. The offerings in this two-day event will indeed fuel bidding from around the world. A highlight of this sale will be an original bedroom suite created by Pottier & Stymus for San Francisco silver baron James C. Flood and his mansion called Linden Towers.

Linden Towers, a most impressive and massive estate built by 19th century San Francisco millionaire James C. Flood, was, at the time, regarded as the most elaborate country estate of the period. With an estimated worth of $18 million in the 1870s, Flood spared no expense in building and furnishing his Menlo Park mansion, commissioning artisans from around the world and using only the finest materials and furnishings obtainable. The décor in each of the over 40 rooms was personally selected by Flood. In an article published in 1948 in Peninsula Life Magazine, the author of the article, Theron G. Cady, gave this description: “A queen could command no finer bed-chambers than those of Linden Towers.  Each bedroom had its own color scheme, which was carefully followed in the selection of drapes, linens, and the upholstery of overstuffed furniture.” The Flood Mansion was torn down in 1934 and all of the extravagant contents were sold. Clars Auction Gallery is extremely excited to announce that one of the extravagant bedroom suites has been discovered and will be offered on Sunday, May 20th a part of their Gallery sale. Deric Torres, Director of Decoratives and Furnishings for Clars, said he knew, as soon as he saw the set, this was more than a beautiful Victorian bedroom suite. Further investigation confirmed that, in fact, this suite was commissioned by Flood himself and created for him by Pottier & Stymus of New York who is regarded as one of the finest Victorian furniture makers of that period commissioned to create furniture for the Rockefellers and the White House as well.

This Victorian bedroom suite, created in 1878 for James C. Flood by Pottier & Stymus for an astounding $78,000, comes to auction at Clars on May 20th, 2012.

This Victorian bedroom suite is made completely of ornately carved Rosewood and includes the footboard, headboard, bureau and mirror. The entire suite, which at the time also included a massive canopy, was commissioned by Flood for an astounding 1875 price of $78,000. Indeed, he spared no expense in furnishing his country manor. Torres further commented that, several years ago, when furniture was stronger in the market than it is now, this suite would have carried a $75,000 to $100,000 estimate. This historic work of art in furniture has been conservatively estimated for the sale at $10,000 to $20,000.

Pictured here in 1900 is the bedroom suite created by Pottier & Stymus as it appeared inside Linden Towers.

Furthering the historic furniture to be offered during this two-day event will be a coronation chair (PHOTO 5) from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. This rare piece is estimated at $2,000 to $4,000.

For more information on these offerings and to register to bid, please contact Clars Auction Gallery at (510) 428-0100, email: or visit their website at Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.


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