Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ren Faire Season Is Upon Us!

Well it's that time of year again. Ren faire season! (a.k.a. the renaissance faire or festival)

Some faires are hosted early on in the year, but many don't start until summer and others until fall which makes for an almost year round season. They even vary by what period of history they emulate. There are scores of craftsman (and craftswomen) selling their wares, plenty of hilarity with various shows, and of course the wonderful faire food (turkey legs!). Some are hosted at a fairground, a piece of open land (sometimes even a parking lot), and of course the permanent venues which can be very elaborate.

You can bet that the staff are not the only people dressing up in their finest faire costumes. It's definitely one place where I feel strange being one of the few in jeans and a t-shirt. So what did I do? Join them, of course! And it turned out to be great fun (and I've only been to three venues multiple times, Maryland Renaissance Festival, Colorado Renaissance Festival, and North Carolina Renaissance Faire for those who are curious).

The renaissance faire is something that got it's start here in the U.S. in, where else? California

Yep, 1963 is when this whole thing got started. And now there are hundreds of faires all over the U.S. and they've even started sprouting up across the big pond. Chances are there is one near you (check out this list here).

So what does this has to do with swords? As with these little history lessons I've posted here, they used the sharp, pointy objects back then and naturally they made their way into the ren faires as costume props and of course the many stage shows. They don't just joust at renaissance festivals, there are also demonstrations of melee fighting with various weapons from the time period. Some are staged, naturally, but some are not and are full contact (see the video from my blog entry The Arming Sword a.k.a. the knight's sword, knightly sword, or shortsword for an example). Some faires do not allow any sort of weapon in, but at many you can have a sword as long as it is peace-tied (usually a leather thong tied around the hilt and through your belt so it cannot be drawn, or at least not easily).

And of course if you have kids, they can be great fun for the whole family too.

Courtesy of the Sweet Juniper! blog

Lots of site news! We are now on Twitter (@O_FSwords) in addition to Google+ and Facebook and I've even started on Pinterest (I've got some great ideas for that). I've started adding more new products for March to include more of the Kit Rae series but I've also started fleshing out our Practical/Handmade Swords category with some really neat items that I found courtesy of Musashi. Take a look at a few of them below. And as always, stay tuned! (And please follow us, like us, share us, squeeze us, +1 us, and add us to your circles!) Until next time. 

Handmade Dragon Samurai Katana Sword With Handcrafted Saya

According to Japanese mythology Ryujin was the god of the seas. Similar to Chinese mythology, the ruler of the seas took the form of a dragon. His palace was under the ocean and constructed from red and white coral. Jellyfish, sea turtles, and fish were his servants. The rulers of Japan would trace their lineage to Ryujin. Because of this fact, it was recorded that the Empress Jingu was able to control the tides that won the victory over the Korean navy.

Valermos Sword Damascus

Features a 27 3/4" blackened Damascus steel blade
hand-folded approximately 256 times by oriental sword smiths to create 1792 layers. The sword features a simulated ebony grip, and finely detailed cast metal hilt parts with iron black finish. Each piece comes with a certificate of authenticity and a custom art print. 27 3/4" blade. 40" overall. 

1060 Spring Steel Handmade Musashi Musha Katana Sword

The spring steel Musashi has been created with the beginning practitioner in mind. The sword is able to be bent at a 45 degree angle without affecting the integrity of the blade. The high resilience of the blade makes it much more forgiving for misaligned cuts. The sword comes full tang and fully functional. The blade is appropriate for all standard cutting targets.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Longsword (long sword, long-sword, or bastard sword)

The longsword is similar to the arming sword in that it has a straight double edged blade with a cruciform hilt with the exception being that it is longer, usually between 39-48 inches. Another important difference to note is not so much the length of the blade but the hilt. Since this sword was designed primarily to be used with two hands, the hilt is longer than the shortsword (arming sword). Believe it or not the term 'longsword' has recently come into vogue to describe this weapon which was more commonly known as the bastard sword during the first half of the 20th century. Long-sword or longsword was commonly used to describe a type of sword known as the rapier. Here's a great video of stage fighters demonstrating a few techniques with the longsword, including the murder stroke (very cool!). 

The past couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity for O&FS. Discontinued items have been taken down and some more new products have been added to our Cane Swords, Medieval, Asian, and Fantasy sword categories. We also have a new category that has been started up with its products available this Saturday! Please feel free to check out our Live Action Role Play (LARP) category. In addition to being used for LARPs, these swords also make great costume props! Until next time!

Padded Crescent Fantasy Swords Persian Sabers LARP

This is one of our newest LARP additions that will be available tomorrow!

This is a foam padded Crescent Minotaur Sword with hard plastic inner core. This sword is perfect for cosplay and/or costume prop.







Anathros Sword Damascus

This is one of our new fantasy swords!

Anathros was forged with the destructive power to reshape the earth and its elements. This high-quality collectible features a wonderfully detailed solid-metal pommel hilt with a wire-wrapped hand grip. The hand guard tips fold inward to give the sword its legendary ability to focus its devastating energy at a target. This sword comes with a certificate of authenticity and an 18" x 24 1/2" full-color art print. Damascus steel blade.





Heavy Duty Sword Cane

There are few weapons that can be put into action faster than the Cold Steel sword canes.  Just give the handle a firm tug and the blade will literally leap into your hand.  These canes feature a fiberglass carbon fiber composite shaft that is virtually unbreakable and can be used as a weak hand parrying tool or an emergency bludgeon. The blades are made of 1055 carbon steel and have a tapered square cross section with a wickedly sharp point for lethal penetration.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Arming Sword a.k.a. the knight's sword, knightly sword, or shortsword

Simply put the arming sword is a medieval weapon that originated in Europe and was the standard issue weapon for the medieval knights. Normally the knight sword was used with a buckler or a shield of some sort, but it can also be used without (as you will soon see in this nice little clip I found on Youtube). If the cut and thrust combat style is your thing with the use of a lighter sword, the shortsword is for you. Technical aspects of the arming sword is that it is generally between 27 and 32 inches, has a straight blade that is double edged, and weighs about 2.5 pounds. So without further ado, check out this video on medieval knights going at it in a somewhat humorous duel (for even more info check out the Arming Sword Wikipedia article).

O&FS also got a nice little update to the inventory this week and we have some new products! Here are just a few of the new items that were added. Enjoy! Until next time from O&FS, where you can buy weapons and swords online

St. Michael's Blessed Sword (red handle)

In addition the the clear handled version of this sword that you can see here, we now have a red handled version!

Premium Fighting Crusader Sword with Sheath

Reclaim the Holy Land with this fine double edged crusader sword! This sword is made of stainless steel. Its hilt features a really neat claw guard. This sword comes complete with a black leather sheath with polished metal fittings and a chain.

The King Solomon Sword

The King Solomon Sword with wood display plaque.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Katana Swords

Greetings everyone! I hope this post finds you well. Today I want to talk about one of the several types of swords we offer at the O&FS website and that's the katana sword.

The katana is famous for its sharpness and cutting power and probably most importantly the ability to be able to utilize those attributes very quickly. The katana is a sword that was only used by the warrior class known as samurai, everyone else had to find another type of weapon to use since they were not allowed to use the katana or face some serious penalties (like death, for example). The katana sword was not normally used exclusively, normally samurai had another shorter, but similar blade at their side called a wakizashi.

For a more in depth look at the katana sword take a look at the katana wikipedia (wikipedia katana) as well as this blog entry at the Japanese Jujitsu blog that has another look at the katana's history.

Here's a short if not a little humorous video on the katana sword cutting abilities. Yummy!

O&FS carries everything from the display only types of katana swords (you would definitely not want to try to cut anything but maybe paper with these) to the practical ones you can actually wield and cut up as many watermelons as you'd like (we don't condone slicing up people... that would most likely land you in a heap of trouble, not to mention it's generally not a very nice thing to do). I'll leave you with a couple a great examples of both categories that can be found at O&FS! Until next time!

Display Katana

Katana w/ Blue Dragon Tsuba and Scabbard 


Practical Katana 

Fuku Riu Katana

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fantasy Blades

At O&FS we're always excited to see what types of new fantasy blades there are and how we can get them! If you're not already familiar with the different types of fantasy blades that are out there I would go check out this apt description of fantasy blades on the O&FS website.

Although this one is not a new addition to our inventory I thought I would show you a great example of a fantasy blade.

Dragon Spike Guardian Sword w/ Plaque

This is the Dragon Spike Guardian Sword (w/ plaque). The blade is pretty long at 33.5” in length and 44.25” overall. What I think is really neat about this fantasy sword is that the cast metal dragon guard actually extends to reveal removable stainless steal daggers (I bet some enemies facing this sword and its wielder didn't see that coming!). It has a wicked looking red and black gradient on the blade and comes with an additional two daggers (just in case!). Trademark calls this the 'Bentley' of dragon swords in the fantasy genre. The picture does not do this sword justice! This particular blade is guaranteed to make a great impression when it is hanging on your wall! Go check it out now at O&FS and get yours while supplies last! Happy collecting!

Monday, December 26, 2011

December Specials Feature!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays this year and that it found everyone comfortable and happy!

We currently have several items on special for December at the Ornamental & Fantasy Swords site to include one that was featured a couple of weeks ago which was Arwen's Hadhafang from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

Here's another great item that is currently on special and that would make any sword enthusiast a very happy camper!

Iga Ninja-To

The history behind this blade comes from Japan in the form of the Iga clan which existed during the feudal period in Japan alongside the Kouga clan. Both ninja families were enemies and at war with one another for centuries and both clans are very well known in Japanese literature.

The tsuka, the handle, of the Iga Ninja-To is wrapped in the traditional fashion over natural rayskin and the the hilt ornaments called menuki. On one side is one of the Clouds and Sun and the other is the Water and Moon menuki. The tsuba (guard), fuchi (end piece on hilt), and kashira (ornamental piece near the tsuba) all feature the Iga Mon and a wave motif. All three are blackened iron. The saya, or scabbard, has a partial rattan wrap and a heavily reinforced spike. This sword features a forged, high carbon blade that is differentially quenched to an edge hardness of 60HRc. This is not only an essential item for a Ninjutsu practitioner or enthusiast, but to any collector who enjoys swords of Japanese origin!

I hope everyone has a great start to the New Year. Please look forward to our specials for January at O&FS!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Wish List!

Hello again! As I'm sure everyone is aware by now that it is the holiday season. If you're a movie buff and/or the gamer type like myself you may have a few collectors items on your wish list this year. Here are a couple of mine that I'm sure you'll recognize brought to you by O&FS!

LOTR Hadhafang - Sword of Arwen

This sword is used by Arwen in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and is called Hadhafang which translates to Throng-cleaver. Elrond, Arwen's father, originally wielded Hadhafang during the great battle against Sauron when Elves and Men made their last alliance. Arwen used Hadhafang when she helped Frodo escape from the Ringwraiths after they attacked his party. The inscription on the blade is in Elvish and says, "Aen estar Hadhafang i chathol hen, thand arod dan i thang an i arwen," which translates into English as, "This blade is called Hadhafang, a noble defense against the enemy throng for a noble lady."

The blade is made by United Cutlery and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. And the best part, it's on sale at O&FS!

Connor MacLeod Forged Katana Damascus

This movie replica sword is another favorite of mine. This is Connor Mac Leod's sword from The Highlander® movies and television series. Specifically this style of sword is a katana. This movie replica is made from real hand-forged, Damascus steel that has been folded to create exactly 2048 layers. The handle is cast from resin in one piece to authentically replicate the look and feel and weight of aged ivory and was designed from actual prop reference materials. It also comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity! This version includes the authentic metal tang caps, gold plated stuba, and even the authentic red scabbard with red leather sword belt that matches the one worn by Ramirez in the first Highlander movie played by one of my all time favorite actors, Sir Sean Connery! These and any of the swords from O&FS would make a great present to slip beneath the Christmas tree this year. This sword and many other movie replica swords are at O&FS. Take a look!