John Vernier wrote:I think the articulation of the brayette may be more about fit to the body than fit to the saddle. If you consider these as being conceived to be worn rather like a mail brayette - perhaps incorporated into a mail or fabric brief, or at least tied on in the same fashion, with a waist belt and a tail tied up between the legs, and all rather tight to the body, then a little flexibility will make it easier to fit snugly, and that articulation might be welcome while walking or riding as well. Of course it would be possible to make a piece of solid plate which would serve, but it would require more skillful (and intimate) fitting to make it work well.
I had not considered the idea that these might be a thing that was a straight swap for the mail flap of a traditional breyette. This would be an interesting experiment.
John Vernier wrote:
I don't have any experience with brayettes, but it seems to me that the common mid-16th century type which is a solid plate mounted at a single point at the top is really just a glorified besagew, and perhaps more of a style statement than a functional item. Of course more sophisticated measures were designed for foot tournament suits where better protection was essential. These articulated gothic examples seem like they are trying to be functional in a way that later wearers seem to have abandoned.
Very true. Those 16th C cods that hang from the fauld must needs twist left and right with the wearer's upper torso. As such, they are not something that one could ever really put his junk into and expect it to stay there.
By contrast, there are some codpieces which are broad a the top like the equivalent piece of clothing. These are, I think, intended to be worn directly over the body and really did contain as well as protect the genitals. There are a couple of these in the Philly collection, but somehow I can't get Dirk B to fully appreciate their importance.
I wonder if we need to start a whole different thread about codpieces... they are very misunderstood.