Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 5, # 5)

The Club of Anchor Friends meeting is a wonderful opportunity to obtain pictures for the web page.  The meeting this April was particularly fruitful.  Some pictures must wait a month, but these cannot.  First, the front page picture, the one to the left, is the Birla Temple in Delhi, India.  It was built by AV W. Haselbach, of Darmstadt, Germany.  He gave me just this one view.  More are really needed to do justice to such a complicated building.  

On the builder's page you will see a real treat.  AV Offerman, Haarlem, the Netherlands, has built one of the seven wonders of the ancient world -- the Tomb of Halikarnassos.  Like so many of AV Offerman's buildings, they are not standing today, but are known only through legend, archeology and Ernst's reconstructions.

On my own page is a "work in progress".  In March I visited a family in the Washington (D.C.) area.  They own about 25K stones that came from Frank R. Mason of Philadelphia.  The collection, as all large collections do, includes some drawings and pictures.  One is a castle based on the Large Castle of 1894, which is featured on an Anchor advertising poster.  Using the three photographs and the drawings, one of which is the ground plan, I am rebuilding the castle.  So over the next three months you will see on this page a "work in progress".  My progress since the April page has not been good.  I have spent a large part of the month on the CD-ROM archive project for the Anchor club.  It is possible that I may not finish the building even in time for the June page.  But I miss building and will get back to it, off and on, during the next few weeks.  I fully expect to build more quickly than AV Mason did, he began the castle in October, 1914 and completed it 19 months later.

Set 14A was available, is now sold out, but will be back in stock before the end of the month.

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 (new).   A number of them are members of the international Club of Anchor Friends (somewhat new) (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 (new).   I also have available a limited selection of old sets (new offers -- KK only), 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 was unable to bring home even one copy of the catalog.  Two copies are available.  They will be mailed direct from the Netherlands, if you want one.  You can e-mail me, in the USA, or e-mail the CVA's Secretary, Leo Coffeng.   All Anchor people need, and will want, a copy.  

Web Page Notes:  Most subpages do not change from month to month.  I will try to remember 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, (with Vol. 1, # 8, to keep the number of the month the same as the issue's number).  The number of this "issue" is shown at the top of this page.  I can make a CD-ROM of the old pages for anyone who wants it.  CD-ROMs are so cheap now that the only real cost is postage (see below if you want one).

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);
         an English retailer of Anchor sets;
         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 May, 2000.  

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

The full service counter now gives us a lot of information, which I will update here in future months.  In the last eight months, August, 1999, through March, 2000 (244 days), there have been 10,246 "sessions", or about 42 sessions per day.  About 70% of the sessions look at only one page; 25% look at 2 - 5 pages; 5% look at 6 or more pages.  (These numbers seem to be holding quite constant.)  About 60% of all sessions are identified by location.  There have been viewers from the following countries: USA (4,048), Canada (213), Germany (171), Netherlands (136), UK (118), Austria (55), Switzerland (40), Australia (38), Japan (28), Belgium (12), Singapore (10), Norway (9), Finland (8), France (6), Sweden (6), Czech Republic (5), New Zealand (4), Malaysia (3), Portugal (3), Spain (3), Thailand (3), UAR (Egypt) (3), China (2), Denmark (2), Hungary (2), India (2), Korea (2), Malaysia (2), United Arab Emirates (2), Brazil (1), Chile (1), Cypress (1), Greece (1), Israel (1), Italy (1), Mexico(1), Pakistan (1), Slovenia (1) and Tonga (138).  (Tonga 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 continues to be the most important referring web site, except for eBay while I was selling some (new) sets.  Yahoo is second search engine, but the puzzle site of John Rausch and the new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany are the second and third referring web sites.  But recently has become a very important search engine referring site.  If you have not tried, I suggest that you give it a try.  You will like it.  MS Internet explorer passed Netscape in popularity -- MSIE 610, Netscape 504, AOL 341.  Operating systems: Win98 702, Win 95 398, Mac 70, Win3.x 40.  

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.  I can supply a CD-ROM of all of the past web pages if you want one.  If you want one, to cover the cost of the blank CD and postage, please send $5.  Remember, each month you hold off on this purchase adds yet another of the monthly web pages.

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



No Java.  No music.  No moving icons.  No garbage.  Ever.  Just Anchor.