Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 6, # 10)

It seems that there is always someone who is left out, over looked, etc.  This web site is guilty of this sin.  When considering this month's builder, I asked myself which buildings of Fred Hartjes had I already featured.  Guess what?  A "find" on "Hartjes" came up with none!  Well, let me rectify this error. AV Fred Hartjes of Amsterdam is this month's featured builder.

Fred's activities have been concentrated on the Anchor combination of stones and metal parts.  The building shown here was never found in a Richter kit, rather it is from the patent drawings for the metal parts.  Richter bought this patent and used it for his Bridge Set (12/1894).  The sophisticated metal construction is the main interest, though the stone structure is no small accomplishment.  The large number of small stones make this building quite hard to construct.  And, at the Traunstein exhibition, Fred built this design from one side in a display case.  I took the structure down and can say that Fred's virtuosity as a builder can not be over stated.

Again I continue to reposted the picture of four Anchor friends during my spring visit to Rudolstadt.

The new booklets of building plans for set GK-NF # 12, sponsored by the CVA, is now completed and available.  It costs $15.00, post paid.  Eight of the ten I brought home from the CVA meeting are gone; only two are left.

The CVA has published a Stone Catalog, and I obtained four of the ten copies which were printed recently.  Already three are gone!  There is only one left!  I urge you to get it while it is still here.  It is a very valuable reference book.  The cost of these looseleaf catalogs (pages only - without hard covers) is $25, postage included.  If you have no other Anchor reference book, you need this one.  Unless the new regulations prohibit it, I plan to bring back some European covers.  The last time I did this, I paid 6 guilders each, so they will probably cost you $5 each, postage included.  Get your order in, if you want one.  

I noticed on eBay that the "History of the Anchor Works", 1993, sold for 40DM.  Well, they cost 5DM at the Richter Villa in Rudolstadt.  I have two extras and an English translation.  It is an interesting booklet, but not on the CD-ROMs because it is still available at retail.  If you want one of these booklets, and the translation, it costs $5.00, post paid.

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 , but not 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.  The meetings of the Club of Anchor Friends has been moved to the Hotel Lapershoek in Hilversum.  

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.  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.  Also I may have available a limited selection of old sets (including notes on additions to my own collection), 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 and 1999 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, $50 (or 50 Euro) 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 book is also available on CD-ROM.  See below.

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.  Because of popular demand, some more catalogs were printed.  I have only two here in the USA; two went in two months.  If you are thinking of a Stone Catalog as a Christmas present, you had better act now!  These looseleaf catalogs (pages only - without hard covers) cost $25, postage included.  All Anchor people need, and will want, a copy.  

Web Page Notes:  Most subpages do not change from month to month.  The "builder's page" is 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.  All web pages are found in the CD-ROM Archive, CD-ROM # 3.  See below.

CD-ROM Archive: I can  supply the CD-ROMs of the CVA's CD-Archive.  More scans are being added all of the time, and the "holes" in the documentation are being filled.  Of course, more scans means more CDs, and as scans are added some files are moved to other CD.  As of today, there are nine CD-ROMs in the Archive, plus, for CVA members only, 6 additional CD-ROMs of the old MLBs.  (Do not try to buy these MLB CD-ROMs unless you are a CVA member.  I check the membership list.)  All of the scans are JPG files.  # 1 contains the GK-NF building and layer plans, excluding # 34; # 2 contains the DS and # 34 building and layer plans; # 3 contains all packing plans, plus additional documentation such as catalogs, covers, odd, cut-out figures, inserts and rulers; # 4 contains the building and layer plans for the second series of GK-Br and Imperator, the VE series; # 5 contains the KK building and layer plans and the web site from its beginning; # 6 contains documentation including my book in both English and German and various magazines (like the Anker Zeitung) and magazine articles; # 7 contains the building and layer plans for the series 100 (Neue Reihe), 200 (Modern [American] House Series), 300 (Landhaus [Country House] sets), 400 (Festungs- und Burgen-Baukasten [fortress and castle sets]), NS, Capital, Täfelchenlegen, mosaic sets, games, EF (first series), VEB, Imperator (all metal), LaVelle; # 8 contains the building and layer plans for the series GK-AF, A-B (American Bridges), Comet, Eagle, Orion, Eisenbrücken, and the first series of GK-Br and Imperator; # 9 contains various additional documentation like advertisements, exhibits, factory (including Rudolsbad), Richter (includes his will and other documents regarding his estate), Rudolstadt, other products (like Lebkuchen, medicines and mechanical music instruments) and Personal Designs.  I will continue to scan more books and will add them to the CD-ROM Archive.  Only the members of the Club of Anchor Friends are permitted to purchase the six CD-ROMs containing all of the MLBs, including both the English and the German language translations.  If you want to buy one or more of these CD-ROMs, please send $2 for the first CD-ROM and $1 each for the rest -- postage included, no matter where they are going.  CDs are inexpensive, so I do not see a problem if, at this stage of the Archive, some CDs become obsolete due to relocation of files.

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);
         the best retailer of construction toys in America, includes Anchor sets, of course;
         an English retailer of Anchor sets;
         German Museum in München, (in German);
         Stephen Wessel's Anker page, (in German);
         Kunst-Auktionshaus Martin Wendl, (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.

         If you feel that your web site should be included in this list, please let me know.  I would love to be able to
         add a Dutch mail order retailer.

For the month of October, 2001.  



Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf deutsch.  


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

"Anchor" and "Anker" are registered trademarks of the Rudolstädter Anker-Steinbaukasten-Fabrik GmbH & Co. KG.

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: (434) 295 4863
Fax: (434) 295 4898

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