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House of the Golden Bracelet

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 known as 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.
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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 portrait medallion.

Excavation of the building began in 1958 and was completed in the late seventies.
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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.
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Off 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 style with alternating red and yellow panels above a lower black frieze. The frieze is decorated with cupids, plants and bird life.
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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.
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The 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).
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On 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 below.


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The 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.
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The 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.
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Immediately 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.

At 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.
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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.
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The 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).

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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.
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Panoramic view of the north garden Oecus


Viewing http://www.imagoromae.com/public/ftp/fotoDiServizio/File/Web_Galleryes/Bracciale/Low/QTVR%20-%20Flash/Bracciale_low_out_swf.html

  Photography by Alfredo Corrao.
Copyright © 2007 ImagoRomae P.IVA 09861611003



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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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