Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

The building on the left is from the Castle Set (Burgenbaukasten) # 414.  Although the plans were printed in black & white, this picture is found on some of the box covers.  The 400 series of sets was introduced as Fortress Sets (Festungsbaskasten) in 1916.  The designs were of early W.W.I fortifications. By 1916 they were obsolete.  The series stopped at set # 410, a four layer set.  After W.W.I (labels were printed in the summer of 1918, so perhaps not really "after") two new supplement sets were introduced.  These sets had designs copied the fortified churches and other fortified buildings found in the Transylvania area, east of Vienna.  The Fortress Sets contained only all gray stones.  The supplement sets came in a large range of colors.  Initially the Castle sets came with all yellow stones.  Paint was provided so that the red roof tops could be duplicated by painting the stones.  Then the paint was dropped and the sets were supplied with yellow and red or yellow and blue stones.  All gray version were also sold.  Keep in mind that a supplemented set would contain both gray and yellow stones, so the resulting buildings would look quite odd.  Since the Fortress Sets were also produced after W.W.I with yellow stones, properly colored buildings were also normal.  

During W.W.I the Fortress Sets were made in Rudolstadt, Vienna and New York.  The European stones are often of poor quality, due to war-time problems.  The American made stones do not suffer from this problem.  Buyers of European sets should inspect the stones, looking for signs of swelling or migration of the chalk to the surface of the stones.  These sets were continued by the company until the factory closed in 1963.    

Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets (Richters Anker Steinbaukasten) were the world's most popular construction toy from the early 1880s through W.W.I.  These building stones were made in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany, (and at the company's branches in Vienna, New York and, possibly, St. Petersburg, Russia).  Starting in 1880, Richter's Anchor building stones were covered by international patents and trademarks.

Today, there are many collectors and builders (This page shows some exhibition quality buildings.) of Anchor Stone Building Sets.  These collectors often participate in setting up Anchor displays at various exhibitions.   A number of them are members of the international Club of Anchor Friends (Club van Ankervrienden), a Dutch club with members from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and the USA.

Over 600 different Anchor Stone Building Sets were produced in a number of different series.  In addition Richter offered other "stone" products such as puzzles and laying games.  Information on these building set series is provided here, but one can e-mail me on other Richter products.  People who would like to know more about a specific set, including value, or are only interested in additional general information are urged to contact George Hardy (This page shows some of my buildings.) by e-mail.  All e-mail questions will be answered, to the extent of my knowledge.

Sets are being produced again!  Their quality is high.  I urge people interested in starting Anchor building, and those who want to provide their educational benefits to their children, to consider buying these new sets.  The advertisement to the left (or above, if you are using 640 x 480 resolution on your monitor) is from "Best Bets - The best of all possible things to (buy) in the best of all possible cities" in the April 7th issue of the New York magazine, page 53.

Please note that this home page is under constant revision.  The graphics are JPEG, which improves quality and reduces file size.  I have used the savings from this graphics format to enlarge some pictures and add additional ones.  

Many new graphics, and additional text, are uploaded once a month, as close to the first as possible.  I have decided to change the full set of graphics only once a quarter, as most people do not read beyond the first page.  If you only have a little time, I urge you to take a look at the "builders" page.  So please plan to drop by monthly to see the new pictures.  In the restricted (1.4M) space of my home page, I can provide only a limited view of the wonderful world of Richter's Anchor stones.

Anchor exhibitions being held in the next few months.

For those who are really interested in Anchor stones, I have written a book about them.  (I just got tired of either looking up the same information again and again, or trusting my memory on specific details such as dates and names.)  It is expensive, $70 (or 100 DM) ppd, because I print it myself on my PC and color ink is expensive.  The book undoubtedly contains far more information about Anchor stones and sets, the Richter company, etc. than you'll ever want to read.  This book is a lot of work to print (I print about a dozen at a time, in either English or German), so please don't think I am urging you to buy one.

Other web sites with Anchor pictures and information:
         new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (in German and English;
         for whatever reason, the factory has no e-mail address);
         Anchor distributor in the Benelux (in German, French, Dutch and English);
         Construction Toys;
         Lego on Long Island;
         Architectural Toys.

For the month of June and July, 1997.  This June revision was delivered on June 2nd to MY ISP, but it was not put up at once.  Thus I have decided to allow it to remain up through July, so everyone will have an opportunity to see AV Kesselring's wonderful building.

Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf deutsch.  

Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands.  

Anchor Stone Building sets, in English.  (You found it.)

You are visitor number to the Club of Anchor Friends' home page since the posting date of .  From the first appearance of the Anchor home page, August 30, 1996, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of people accessing it.  Over the previous nine months there have been about 2,000 visitors, with about 290 during May.  This revision is the eleventh one that has been on the net.  (My first effort was up only four days, when I learned how to display graphics.)  The Date and Time is .  I plan to update this site monthly.  Due to the delay in posting the June page at my ISP, I am going to leave this revision up until the end of July.  It was last updated on .

Thank you for visiting my "Anchor" web site.

or you can write to:

George Hardy
1670 Hawkwood Ct.
Charlottesville, VA 22901

Tel: (804) 295 4863
Fax: (804) 295 4898