Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 7, # 1)

Last month I mentioned the exhibition in six of the store windows of the department store chain, the Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin, Germany.   All of the buildings were famous Berlin structures, such as the Brandenburger Tor, Rotes Rathaus and Grunewaldturm.  Ekkehard (Pet) Petrauschke of Hofheim-Langenhain (Taunus) Germany,  built the Grunewaldturm, shown here.  It took him about 850 working hours in the last half year to build it.  This building is also the model for the structure on page 16 of the 34, Lyck building plan book.  This building was constructed with only, but a lot of, new stones.  OK, you see some Gothic arches.  Well, we know that the set # 18A is scheduled to be introduced at the Nürnberg (Nuremberg) Fair in February.

A set of photos of all the models was made for the new factory.  I  hope that over the next few months I will receive pictures of the other buildings.  

This month I am asking for information on the Adler (Eagle) set shown here.  I see no indication that the set is Richter, though he used the Eagle-Adler trademark for stone sets and the "eagle with drafting tools in its claws" trademark on his sets, but not as a trademark.  My guess: a private label set, made by Richter.  But the company which ordered these sets did not buy the quantity ordered, so Richter was stuck with the product line.

By the way, I received an e-mail from Wolfgang Fichtner of Hartha Germany.  He advised me that he was the builder of the crèche shown here last month.

Johann Peter Baum, of Frankfurt, Germany, sent me pictures of his monumental (9,399 stones) copy of the city hall (Stadthalle) of Wuppertal.  This building was designed and built between 1895 and 1900, thus a contemporary of the Richter designs.  AV Baum is the featured builder this month .  Please keep the pictures coming.

Set #16A is here.  It is a little expensive.  I know that it has 265 stones, so I guess that $200.00, post paid to the lower 48, is as reasonable as it gets.  All of the sets, including # 16A, are in stock.  It is clear from the building above that we can expect 18A in 2002.

The new booklets of building plans for set GK-NF # 12, sponsored by the CVA, is completed and available.  It costs $15.00, post paid.  All ten that I brought home from the spring CVA meeting have been sold, so I brought back more.  Remember that with a purchase of an Anchor set from # 10A and above, including the new 16A, this set of books costs only $10 extra, if I can pack the books in with the set (that is, not mailed to another address).

The next CVA meeting will be on Saturday, April 20, 2002.  See the CVA page for details.

The CVA has published a Stone Catalog, and I  have no copies left, but I still have two of the correct European binders.  If you already have a catalog and want a binder, it will cost $7.00 (It needs special packaging to get to you without damage.)  If you have no other Anchor reference book, this is the one to buy.  It is not available on CD-ROM, and the next update will not be available for at least six months.  (I do have one older catalog, bound, which is available for $25.)  The update is concentrating on the contents of the unusual sets.  The amount of detailed information is very great, and the information keeps coming in.  And it has become clear that e-mails with just numbers will not do; Leo Coffeng must receive a photocopy or scan (in color if at all possible) of the packing plan.

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.  AV Burkhard Schulz, Ellerau bei Hamburg, has produced a wonderful video entitled Ankerstadt Rudolstadt.  He gave a copy to the CVA Archive, and it is possible he might let you have a copy if you want one.  Americans remember: 1) the video is in German and 2) the German TV system is not compatible with the USA TV system.

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.

I saw the set # 16A and expect that they will be here ready for shipping before Thanksgiving.  Order now if you want one.  The quantity will be limited.

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.  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 USA importer and distributor;
         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 January, 2002.  



Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf deutsch.  


Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands  (und 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.