Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 3, # 4)

This month I feature a rare event in Anchor building -- new and attractive designs using a very limited selection of stones.  AV Fred Schlipf, of Urbana, IL, is featured on the "builders page".  He owns the four new Anchor sets, thus a # 12.  Having built the buildings shown in the building plan books and determined to do something really interesting with the stones, he came up with two classically midwestern USA designs.  These are the first new Anchor designs I have seen for smaller sets since Lufsky carried the NS Series past the 1920s end (# 10).  I am very impressed with these designs.  Yes, I have a lot of stones and build magnificent buildings, but the real challenge is building with a very limited number of stones.  But we can be assured that AV Schlipf will move on to larger sets and quickly abandon the hard work of making an interesting building with a # 12.

My page also usually features buildings.

Last month I promised to report on the collection at Oberlin College, in Ohio.  They have a very unusual collection.  It is not based on Anchor sets but on specific stones selected to be useful in teaching and illustrating art history of the medieval period.  The stones were selected by Clarence Ward in the 1920.  Almost all of the stones are yellow, and the number of Gothic and Romanesque arches is almost beyond imagination.  The collection is not quite as large as I had thought, and totally uninventoried.  They plan to inventory the stones this summer and use them in courses, starting in the fall.  I have promised to come out for the winter (January) semester projects.  I am very enthused to know that Anchor stones will be used in higher education once more in the USA.  (No, they are not thinking of selling them.)

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 using 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, Belgium, France, 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 usually shows some of my buildings.) by e-mail.  All e-mail questions will be answered, to the extent of my knowledge.

Sets and puzzles 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 new puzzles and sets.   I also have available a limited selection of old sets.  Anchor Stone Building Sets are great presents, and the supplement sets make wonderful follow up gifts.  These new sets recently won the 1997 Parents' Choice Gold Medall.  For an 1880 toy to win in 1997 says a lot about the quality of these sets and Anchor in general.

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, and it takes a week, full time.), so please don't think I am urging you to buy one.

Web Page Notes:  As you may have noticed, my ISP problems were not all solved by the first of February.  The 'hit' counter was not working.  It is now working, and its  failure did not hurt the Anchor information, which is the primary purpose of this site.

       Most e-mail send to me between January 15th and January 29th was lost. 

A few people have asked me to number the "issues" of the Anchor page.  Well, they started in August, 1996, so this "issue" is Vol. 3, # 3 (with Vol. 1 starting with # 8, to keep the number of the month the same as the issue's number).

Please note that this home page is revised monthly.  The graphics are JPEG, which improves quality and reduces file size.  The URL name -- -- indicates that this site is the official web site of the Club of Anchor Friends.

My e-mail address is  That address is an alias for my 'real' e-mail address, which is  But if I ever change the ISP for the web site -- -- my 'rlc' e-mail address would change, but my 'ankerstein' e-mail address is (more or less) permanent.  

Another web problem connected with the change of ISP has been the loss of a reference on most of the search engines.  I am putting the page back up, but it takes time.   

Many new graphics, and additional text, are uploaded once a month, as close to the first as possible.  I do not change the full set of graphics, as most people never read beyond the first page.  If you only have a little time, I urge you to take a look at the "builders" page.  And please plan to drop by monthly to see the new pictures.  In the restricted space of my home page, I can provide only a limited view of the wonderful world of Richter's Anchor stones.

Other web sites with Anchor pictures and information:
         new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (in German and English);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (in German);
         an American retailer of Anchor sets, (the small sets #s 4 &  4A);
         Anchor distributor in the Benelux, (in German, French, Dutch and English);
         German Museum in München, (in German);
         Construction Toys;
         Lego on Long Island;
         Architectural Toys;
         the puzzle web page is a must for all puzzle collectors, although not much on Anchor puzzles.

For the month of April, 1998.  

Anchor exhibitions being held in the next few months.

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 hit counter began to work on February 6, 1998.  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.  During the first year the Anchor page had more than 3,000 visitors and during the fall of 1997 the page was averaging 25 hits a day.  The hit rate has dropped to 15 a day now, partially due to the after Christmas season and partially due to the change of ISPs.  I have been updating this site monthly since August, 1996.

Thank you for visiting the CVA "Anchor" web site.

or you can write to:

George Hardy
1670 Hawkwood Ct.
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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