Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 4, # 11)

The big new this month is that the new factory is now making set # 12A.  I saw one completed set.  The stone # 23 is a painted wooden beam, not a bad modification.  They were getting breakage with the stone version.  No pricing is available yet; none are in the USA.  So don't count on this set for 1999.   

Christmas is coming, so buy Anchor sets for your children (read about their educational benefits), or yourself.  They are available from many catalogs and stores, or even here.

The picture on this page is by Wolfgang Fichtner of Hartha, Germany.  Two months ago, September, I put on this page his model "des Bayerischen Bahnhofs Leipzig", of the Bavarian Railroad Station in Leipzig.  During my visit to Germany in October, that building caused a number of comments.  Some because it is a very nice building; others because the stones were not Anchor!  Well, Wolfgang has now sent me pictures of a similar structure -- "die Fassade des Empfangsgebäude des Lehrter Bahnhofs", the facade of the reception building of the Lehrter Railroad Station, in Berlin.  And, it is all Anchor, and it is not glued (nicht geklebt).  How was it done?  The arch consists of twenty 15G and two 4G stones.  How is for a later date, probably January.  Just think about how you would do it.

The builder's page features a building by the newest member of the Anchor Club.  John Sementilli-Dann sent some nice pictures.  I especially liked the "in progress" pictures.  Take a look.  See what one fun one can have with a modest number of Anchor stones.

On my own page I am not showing any of my buildings.  I am presenting an update.  Some of you may remember that the August, 1998, web page showed designs by young children, David and Meg Griffith.  But time flies.  Last Christmas I got a new pictures of these young builders.  Take a look.  These young builders are still Anchor fans, though other interests will undoubtedly occupy them in the next two decades.  But, be assured, they will come back to Anchor, and their children will also have the wonderful opportunity to build with Anchor.

The Anchor exhibition in the Spielzeug and Heimat Museum in Traunstein is over.  It was taken down in October.  As soon as I know about the next exhibition, and there will be one, I will put it on the exhibition web page.

I have produced a "5DM" booklet for exhibitions.  It is in German only.  Basically, it is the same as the second chapter, "Anchor Stones -- An Overview", in my book.  The cost by mail is $5, or 10DM.  At exhibitions, including Traunstein, it costs 5DM, so go to Traunstein and buy it there.  Of course copies will be available at the CVA meeting on October 23rd.

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 the builder'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.  In 1999, the Anchor sets won the National Parenting Publications Award.  For an 1880 toy to win in 1997 says a lot about the quality of these sets and Anchor in general.  These sets are a perfect supplement to computers.

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 -- -- 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, (including the small sets #s 4 &  4A, which are not offered here);
         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 November, 1999.  

Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf deutsch.  

Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands  (und auf Deutsch).  

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

Notes on Looks at this Web Site

As some of you know, the server often failed to transmit pictures correctly.  My ISP corrected that problem, but in the process, broke the counter.  The last count I remember was about 8,650 sessions since February 6, 1998, or 530 days.  That works out to just over 16 sessions per day.  

The full service counter gives me a lot of information, which I will report here in future months.  The number of "sessions" increased from 965 sessions in August to 1,363 in September.  Of these, 472 came from eBay, so it is clear that the people looking at the page were unusual in September.  One result was that the percentage of people who looked at only one page increased from 64% to 78%.  So, these new people were not all that interested.  Sessions identified by location over the two months were from the following countries: USA (944), Canada (22), Mexico(1), Austria (7), Germany (21), UK (21), Switzerland (6), Netherlands (27), Czech Republic (3), Korea (2), Japan (5), Australia (6), Norway (2), Greece (1), Belgium (2), Spain (1), Finland (1), Italy (1), Portugal (1), Singapore (6), India (1), UAR (3), Hungary (1), New Zealand (1) and Tonga (35).  (Tonga has sold its identity to the "European Regional Internet", so these sessions are not really from Tonga.)  If there is interest, I will add a full page with more information.  It is interesting.  For example:  Altavista has been the most important referring web site, except for eBay while I was selling some (new) sets.  The second most important was, the puzzle web site.

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.  This site has been updated every month 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