Description of the House (Reg VI, Ins 17, 42)
|The House of the
Golden Bracelet (pictured right) is situated on the Vicolo del
Farmacista just north of its junction with the Via delle Terme. Also
the House of the Wedding of Alexander, the house derives its name from
the discovery of the remains of a woman wearing a thick gold bracelet.
The bracelet (pictured opposite), weighed 0.6 kgs, and was in the shape
of a two-headed snake curled so that each mouth gripped one side of a
Excavation of the building began in 1958 and was completed in the late seventies.
The short fauces opens onto an atrium with a central impluvium (pictured below and right). The atrium, which has rooms off all but its southern side, is decorated in the fourth style with alternating panels in red and yellow on a black ground above a narrow lower red frieze.
the north east corner of the atrium
is a triclinium
(c), the entrance
to which is pictured above. The triclinium
is decorated in the fourth
with alternating red and yellow panels above a lower black frieze.
The frieze is decorated with cupids, plants and bird life.........The central panels on the north and south walls contained
large figured scenes but these have unfortunately been removed. On the
north wall was a picture of Dionysus and Ariadne (pictured below with an enlargement opposite). On the south wall was a picture of the Wedding of Alexander and Roxanne after which the house was originally named.
oecus (g) (pictured right) to the east of triclinium (f) is decorated
in the fourth style with white panels framed in red alternating with
black panels with decorative borders with occasional scenes of fantastic
architecture all above a lower black decorated frieze. The room, which
has a vaulted ceiling, is lit by a window in the communal wall shared
with the triclinium (f).
the south side of the middle floor is the service area and kitchen (h)
which is located above the stairway leading down to the garden area
triclinium itself is in marble with a central water feature with a shelf
surround, possibly for resting drinking cups on. The walls of the room
were decorated with garden scenes featuring plant and bird life, marble
basins and Egyptian statuary. The picture below, which is part of a
larger panel, was found in many pieces in the garden area and is thought
to have come from one of the garden rooms.
house is built on three levels, utilizing the city walls and the slope
of the hillside. The top level opens off the west side of the Vicolo del Farmacista (left of centre in the picture top right). The fauces (a) (pictured left) is decorated with red panels on a black ground.
west of the triclinium is a cubiculum (pictured left) which is
decorated in the fourth style with yellow panels with decorative borders
separated by fantastic architecture on a white ground, all above a
lower red frieze. The yellow panels contain small medallions.
the west end of the atrium is the tablinum (e) which is in a ruinous
state and devoid of any decoration. On the south side of the tablinum a
broad flight of stairs leads down to the middle floor.
On the middle level are a private bath suite and
several more reception rooms, some of which overlook the garden below.
(To view the layout of the middle floor, mouseover the house plan above). The vaulted triclinium (f) is decorated in the fourth style
with large black panels with decorative borders framed in red above a
lower black decorated frieze (pictured above and below). The side panels
contained small portrait medallions two of which are pictured opposite.
stairway (pictured left) opens onto a square garden with a semi-circular
pond and fountain. The lower floor of the house consists of three
garden rooms with high vaulted ceilings (pictured below).
The central room contains the summer triclinium
(pictured left). In the rear wall was an arched apse with a nymphaeum
which has since been removed and can now be seen in the National Museum
in Naples (pictured below).
The room to the left (north) of the triclinium
was entirely decorated with a garden scene (pictured above and in the
photographs below and left). The entire fresco decoration has been
removed to the Naples Museum. In the centre of the beautifully painted
fresco is a trellis with openings offering glimpses of the flourishing
plants and wildlife beyond.
* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are
reproduced by permission from their website at
(Su concessione del Ministero per
i Beni e le Attività Culturali:
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di
Napoli e Pompei)