Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 4, # 2)

Thanks to about 1,000 stones # 262R from the new factory, I now own all of the standard stones needed to reproduce the first, and largest of Richter's exhibition castle.  This castle was first exhibited in 1884 -- only 4 years after stone production began!  The earliest catalog I own shows that the company offered only 175 different stone shapes.  Clearly new, uncataloged stones were used.  Clearly, octagonal roof stones were tooled for this castle, but no octagonal roof stones were offered in a stone catalog before about 1920.  This building is quite tall, about 6 feet high.  It was made for the Antwerp Universal Exhibition, where is won first prize.  There are no contemporary photographs of this castle, but a color drawing was published in the 1887 USA catalog and in black & white (a slightly different view) in the 1923 and 1931 USA catalogs.  No European catalogs seem to have included drawings of this castle.  

On another note, I have just purchased a Ricoh 300Z digital camera.  Sadly the lens restricts wide angle pictures.  The picture at the left is a "paste" of two pictures.  I am pleased with the result, although my photographic skill leaves a lot to be desired.

Because of the number of photographs of this exhibition model, there is no independent builder's page in this edition of the web page.  You will be directed to George Hardy's page.  On this page you will find both pictures of the building that I built, and the drawn advertising drawings I built it from.

Even if you have only a  limited amount of time to spend looking at the Anchor web site, I urge you to at least go to George Hardy's page.  This web page features Anchor buildings by Anchor people from around the world.  The pictures are changed every month.  

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!  The 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, including a new set and some special prices.  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 Medal.  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.

The CVA has published its Stone Catalog, which covers all of the stone shapes Richter made, plus shapes made by other innovators.  Metal parts and most other accessories are included in the catalog.  The contents of the sets are also listed.  The cost of the catalog sheets (European size paper, intended for loose leaf use) is f 40, plus postage costs, in Europe.  I bought four copies at the recent spring meeting, along with European four hole binders.   All of them are already gone.  The cost, including postage, was $40.  I  brought back six in November, but without the binders.  So they will cost only $25, including postage.  But you will need a loose leaf type binder, and A-4 paper is a little longer than standard American paper.  All Anchor people need, and will want, a copy.   Owners of earlier copies of the CVA Stone Catalog should contact me.  I brought back replacement pages for the catalogs already sold.  This is the second set of replacement pages.  As before, the replacement pages are free.

Web Page Notes:  Most subpages do not change from month to month.  I have decided to add the note "(new)" after those subpages which have undergone major changes recently.  The "builder's page" and "my page" are revised every month.  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, # 11 (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.  Most of the graphics are JPEG, which improves quality and reduces file size.  The URL name -- ankerstein.org -- indicates that this site is the official web site of the Club of Anchor Friends.

My e-mail address is georgeh@ankerstein.org.  That address is an alias for my 'real' e-mail address, which is georgeh@ankerstein.org.  But if I ever change the ISP for the web site -- www.ankerstein.org -- 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, (including the small sets #s 4 &  4A, which are not offered here);
         Anchor distributor in the Benelux, (in German, French, Dutch and English);
         German Museum in München, (in German);
         Stephen Wessel's Anker page, (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 February, 1999.  

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.  In November the page passed the 3650 milestone.  I will be sure to check on February 6, 1999 to get a one year count.  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.  I have been updating this site monthly since August, 1996.

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

georgeh@ankerstein.org

or you can write to:

George Hardy
1670 Hawkwood Ct.
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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

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