16600Re: Me and my codpiece
- Mar 18, 2014Gee, I could store my candy there when I went to the schoolyard.
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:39 pm (PDT) . Posted by:lol... well whipping out a wallet..not a bad idea. At least you could pay for dinner. lol.. allison
From: Kim Noyes <kimnoyes@...>
To: AllThingsHistory <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:41 AM
Subject: Re: [allthingshistory] Me and my codpiece
Hello there darlin'.... let me just whip out my keys and wallet....
On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 4:51 AM, Allison Maricelli-Loukanis <allison.ann@...> wrote:
>Interesting..Says they kept their keys and money there too. I guess they would not be shy about getting all that out. I would think it would be uncomfortable...Allison
> From: Kim Noyes <kimnoyes@...>
>To: AllThingsHistory <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Hoaxes and Myths <email@example.com>
>Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 2:43 AM
>Subject: [allthingshistory] Me and my codpiece
>Me and my codpieceBy Stephen Smith BBC News
>17 March 2014 Last updated at 14:27 ET
>What we wear has changed
vastly through the ages - with certain styles and garments resurfacing
from time to time in what seems like a cycle. But will medieval attire
ever make a comeback?
>In the world of fashion, no classic piece ever quite
disappears, and I'm looking forward to the imminent return of the
plus-four and the spat.
>But I might be in for a long wait to see a new lease of life for another old favourite, the codpiece.
>This honest pouch or flap, richly embroidered and plushly
upholstered, doesn't really fit the lifestyle choices of today's man,
with his skinny jeans and clinging gym-togs in unforgiving Lycra.
>The decline of the box or cup would baffle and confound the
towering figures of 16th Century Italy, who helped to shape our modern
>If the Renaissance was about anything, it was about a fellow
having the confidence to stand up and sport a pair of well-filled hose.
>Continue reading the main story
>From Our Own Correspondent
> * Insight and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world
> * Broadcast on Radio 4 and BBC World Service
> * Listen to the programme
> * Download the programme
>Yes, there was some magnificent
art, too, of which more later. But this was the moment of man's first
inklings about science, when the tailor's shears of reason met the
smothering bolts of superstition and blind faith.
>What better way to greet this glorious but uncertain dawn than by wearing the piece of cod which passes all understanding.
>For myself, the revival of this moribund accessory can't come soon enough.
>I only know that everything they tell you is true - you never forget the first time you wear a codpiece.
>I was in the Palazzo Vecchio in the heart of old Florence,
the former court of Cosimo de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany - banker,
absolute ruler, patron of the arts.
>He commissioned the sculptor Cellini and the painter Bronzino.
>He tried to woo Michelangelo himself from Rome back to his native Florence.
>The great man refused, but after he was dead, Cosimo sent body snatchers to finish the job.
>When Cosimo was in power, from 1537, fashion was governed by
strict sumptuary laws, which rationed expensive fabrics and dyes, and
enforced on society a strict pecking order - if you'll overlook the
>There was greater mobility between city and countryside, and this was reflected in breezier tailoring.
> The term was first documented in 1500
>Out went cumbersome long tunics - and in came shorter doublets, or so said fashion historian Roberta Orsi Landini.
>I was immersing myself in the life of Cosimo's court and
Roberta was helping me to throw together an understated Florentine
ensemble: a white chemise with proud ruff, tights, a jerkin in the blues and greys of office life - this was the corporate lounge suit of its
>"Men's clothes also followed military uniforms," said Roberta.
>"They wore… intimate armour."
>Wordlessly, she withdrew from my side, and I understood that I must complete my dressing alone, securing the piece de resistance with a last few ticklish threading of laces through eyeholes.
>The BBC's Stephen Smith tries on a chic black codpiece
>After it was done, Roberta said: "It gives the impression of a
man of strength, a winner, so it was a shape that suggested virility."
>"Back in the Renaissance, was the codpiece anatomically correct?" I asked.
>"Of course not. It was a fake," she said.
>Continue reading the main story
>Born out of necessity
>Just like the women of today, men of the 16th Century wore
hose which covered their legs. However, when mounting a horse their
genitals would often be on show, and so the codpiece was born.
>The Art of Manliness blog
> * Read the full article
>"They wanted to appear bigger than they were, of course, but it wasn't made for women, but to show to other men."
>Ah, the folly of my brothers down the ages.
>I asked Roberta: "As a lady, do you regret the passing of the codpiece?"
>"Oh no no, of course not," she laughed.
>"'But don't you think there's a certain... comedy to it, perhaps?"
>"I don't think so," she said. "I think normal pockets are better."
>The garment was practical, in its way, a forerunner of the bumbag, for better or worse.
>It was a place to keep your keys, or perhaps a handful of florins (that's loose change, to you and me).
>You mustn't blame the codpiece for the vanity of its smirking incumbent.
>Grand Duke Cosimo was seen in one at all civic functions, as were his guard of German mercenaries, the Lanzichenecchi.
>As the sun beat down on the Piazza della Signoria in
Florence, outside the Uffizi, the bodyguards would vie with one another
to see who could cast the most shark-like shadow.
>Until one day when a sentry upset the womenfolk, with what a
chronicler of the time called "a very long and lewd codpiece of a
barbarous and very impolite shape".
>In what's thought to be one of the earliest documented
examples of frisking, it emerged that what was behind this outrageous
fashion statement was nothing more than a rolled-up hanky.
>Somehow, it seems fitting to me to end an appraisal on the codpiece with an anti-climax.
>I guess I'm just a cup-half-full kind of guy.
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