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Pompeii‎ > ‎Regio I‎ > ‎Reg I, Ins 10‎ > ‎

House of the Cabinet Maker

Description of the House (Reg I, Ins 10, 7)

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The adjoining room (c) is a cubiculum (pictured below). The room is decorated in the third style with large white panels framed in red above a lower dark red frieze. The upper zone is simply decorated with white panels bordered in red and yellow and decorated with small flying griffins (pictured lower right).
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Next to the site of the impluvium is a marble table (pictured above). The table has masonry supports decorated with marble legs with lion claw feet. It sits over the access to the cistern.

On the west aide of the atrium are two cubicula, rooms (e) and (f) (pictured right). Cubiculum (e) is decorated in the third style with white panels demarcated by plain borders above a lower white frieze decorated with a floral motif in red (pictured below).
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The white panels have an internal decorative frame with floating griffins and cupids in the centres. The upper zone has a geometric motif picked out in red on a white ground. The south east wall of the cubiculum incorporates a recess for a bed (pictured opposite),

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The colonnade is sustained by masonry pillars (pictured right). The walls of the colonnade retain large areas of plasterwork, but again the decoration is rather indistinct. Rooms (h) and (i) both open onto the colonnade and appear to be both triclinia.
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Room (h) (pictured above) is decorated in the third style with red panels above a lower black frieze decorated with a floral motif. The central panels on each wall contain a mythological scene. Of these three frescoes the one on the north wall is the best preserved; it may depict a scene from the Sacrifice of Sophonisba (pictured opposite).
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Triclinium (i) on the east side of the tablinum is decorated in the third style with black panels above a lower black frieze (shown above and opposite).  The central panels incorporated a mythological scene, that on the west wall being of Daedalus and Icarus. The remaining scenes are rather indistinct. Indeed, the scene on the east wall was at some time defaced and incised with a lararium niche (visible left of centre in the photograph above).

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The rather plain entrance to the house (shown left) opens off the south side of the Vicolo del Menandro. The house, also known as the House of the Smith, was initially excavated in 1914 and again between 1927 and 1933. It derives its name from a large set of cabinet maker's tools found in the building, albeit no workshop was actually found.
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When excavated, the exterior wall of the house bore the graffito CIL IV 8364 but this has since been lost due to weathering.
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Two rooms open off the west side of the fauces (a) (pictured left). The first room (b) (pictured below) was possibly used as a general storeroom. The walls are coated with a layer of plaster painted white above a lower pink frieze. There is a latrine in the north west corner screened off by a low masonry wall.
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The  fauces leads to a rectangular atrium (d) (pictured left) which had a central impluvium. The walls of the atrium retain large areas of plasterwork, but the fresco decoration has all but disappeared making it next to impossible to describe the format of the decoration.
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Cubiculum (f) is also decorated in the third style with large yellow panels framed in red (pictured opposite) above a lower red frieze. The panels incorporate an internal decorative border with floating cupids in the centres. In the south east wall is a recess to allow for a bed and above,  a small window overlooking the atrium.
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In the centre of the south side of the atrium is the tablinum (g). The plan of the house is far from symmetrical as can be seen from the plan above, but a small shrine on the rear wall of the garden (now overgrown), when framed by the tablinum, provided the visitor with a visual focus.
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The tablinum (pictured opposite) is fully open along its northern side. Like the atrium, it retains remnants of plaster, but there is little in the way of any decorative fresco work. In each of the side walls is a narrow doorway giving direct access to the adjoining rooms (h) and (i). On the south side of the tablinum a wide doorway opens onto the colonnade (j) which runs along the north side of the garden.
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The remains of two bodies were found in the room together with a small quantity of coins. All told, the house proved to be a veritable treasure house, yielding a variety of jewellery, perfume bottles, measuring and surveying devices, balances and weights in addition to the aforementioned craftsman's tools.
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At the west end of the colonnade is the kitchen (k) (pictured left). On the north side of the kitchen a flight of stairs led to the upper floor. On the south wall is a painted lararium.




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Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are reproduced by permission from their website at www.pompeiiinpictures.com
(Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali: Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei)





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