Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 14, # 9)

AV Ernst Meyer-Margreth (1898 - 1983), Hamburg, Germany, designed this Propylaeum -- a classical Greek style monumental gateway to a special enclosure.  Such gates were very popular during the late 19th and early 20th century.  They were part of the neo-classical movement in architecture.  The Classical Set (Introduced in 1932 by New York office -- not Richter company product.) includes a similar design.  You will find more pictures of this Propylaeum on the "builder's page".  The plans were drawn by AV Burkhard Schulz and are available on the web  in the form of PDF files.

The Anchor factory in Rudolstadt will hold a meeting "Treffen" on Saturday, September 5th.  I have already booked my flights.  I plan to be there. 

Scheduled Meetings:

Next CVA meeting:  Saturday, October 24, 2009; Hotel Lapershoek in Hilversum.
Factory Treffen:  Saturday, September 5, 2009; at the factory.


Dordrecht:  Simon van Gijn - Museum aan Huis; Nieuwe Haven 29-30.  Until November.

More Anchor information now on-line.
The Internet is more convenient than ever.

You can now download almost the entire CD-ROM archive from a new web site.  Go down to the bottom of the page and click on "Site-Map" to find what is currently available.  The site is still "under construction" (noch im Aufbau).  Use of this site is much easier, quicker, cheaper, and more convenient than buying the CD-ROMs.  Please use it!
And you can download my book as a PDF file -- English version or German version. 
There are a large number of short Anchor videos on YouTube.  Here is a link to one of the videos.  You can use the "related videos" suggestions to find many more.

* * *

 AV William Seppeler has established an important web site/blog which provides designs for small sets and collections.  If you have just a set # 6, or the even smaller Brownie (Heinzelmännchen), you must check out this side.  Someone visited this blog and created animated assemblies of some of the designs.  All Anchor builders should look at it to see just how much variation is possible to a designer with a great imagination.   New plans for set # 4 are on the site.

I try to keep the links at the bottom of this page up to date.  If you find that one does not work, please e-mail me.

The Richter villa is closed.  The Spielhausverein has moved, and the villa is to be sold.  But irrespective of whether or not it is sold, it is now closed to the public, except by appointment.  The city is worried about its physical condition and safety.  All of the Anchor archive materials being housed there and the collection of Anchor sets have been moved to Heidecksburg.  The large collection of old Anchor stones, many of which are quite rare, is still in the possession of the Spielhausverein.  We'll see what happens to these stones.  Watch!

All sets -- #s 6 through 30A, and NS conversion set -- are now in stock!

See new sets !

The Conversion Set (Übergangskasten) contains the stones to allow owners of the NF series sets to built the NS series designs.  This set contains all of the special arches and extra stones needed to build the NS designs through set NS 18.  The plans are supplied on CD-ROM, not printed out.  Since these arches did not fill a box, the factory has added a well thought out selection of filler stones to make up a complete box of stones.  New NS buildings are being designed by AVs today and are available on the web  in the form of PDF files.   The Mosaic Set is out of stock -- both sets were sold. 

The Mosaic Set is available only at the factory.  I do not plan to buy sets when I attend the Treffen.  The cost is high -- € 400 (about US$600, including postage to you).  This set contains 547 stones in four colors and is intended for floors in Anchor buildings.  The set is identical to the set Mosaik Set # 4 from the original factory.  547 stones means that the set is expensive, but Anchor buildings look very nice when they have floors on the porches and entrances. 

If you are interested in Anchor building designs, you have two choices for software: AnkerCAD and AnkerPlan.

For those of you who are interested, here is a picture of me.  My picture is relatively new, taken in October, 2008, on a trip to Antwerpen. 

I am still looking for pictures from other countries.  Anchor stones are now popular in Korea, and pictures have been received.  So far, I have not received pictures from South America (other than one old collection in Argentina), Asia (other than Korea), Australia or Africa.  Since Anchor was popular worldwide, and it still is, there must be some AVs on these continents.

AV Rob Buis has been producing reproduction metal parts of the highest quality.  To find out which ones are still available you should e-mail AV Rob Buis.  Yes, they are expensive, but if you want to build Anchor bridges using nickel-plated iron parts, you will find that most of the original parts are rusted, often bent, and very hard to use.  I build with Rob's parts.  Contact Rob for more information about his new Anchor metal parts.  Rob has a web site for his reproduction metal partsThis web site is newly revised and expanded -- with a lot of beautiful pictures.  He has also established a web site for box # 10 and box # 10B.

Keep in mind that many more designs (NF 6 through 20) are available on the web  in the form of PDF files.  Of course they are free; all you need to do is print them out.  Next month this site will feature a new design for set # 6.  And, it is especially good because it uses all 105 stones in that first set.  (OK, some say that # 4 is the first set, but IMHO # 6 is the first useful set.)

You can look at last month's web page.  This feature has been available for almost a year, but the link was not well known.  All of the earlier pages are available on the web.

Aeropharm is a division of Hexal.  All of Hexal has been acquired by Sandoz.  Sandoz (which is part of Novartis) is increasing its investment in its Rudolstadt operation.  Based on my visit in September, 2008, it seems to me that the new facilities in Rudolstadt will be between two and three times as large as they were.  It may well happen that factories which trace their histories back to Richter and Anker will become (again) the largest employers in Rudolstadt.   

The last CVA meeting was on Saturday, April 25, 2009.  The next meeting date will be on Saturday, October 24, 2009.  See the CVA page for details.  

In addition the new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany held three "Treffen", or "open door" days, at that factory during 2008 -- Saturday, July 5th; Saturday, September 20th; Saturday, December 13.  I attended the September 20, 2008 Treffen.  I will attend the Treffen on September 5, 2009.   

The Club of Anchor Friends (CVA) has published a Stone Catalog. The new printing has been done, and the catalogs have been sent to CVA members.  There is already a list of pages being revised.  Not major omissions, but changes worth making.  The new CVA Stone Catalog will not be offered to the general public until the pages have been revised.

The amount of additional work to do continues to grow; the discovery of the original molds has added even more work.  I saw one mold which was used to make a stone I had never seen -- not even heard of.  That mold was one of a pair -- a corner stone and a rectangular stone.  The new factory has made a few samples of each.  Of course there was no way to know the correct thickness.  Close examination has shown that these stones are a new design for the roof stones of the DS (Dachstein -- roof stone) sets.  I obtained samples of the new roof stones at the Ankerfest.  I have not really looked at them yet, but I will now that I am home.  For more information, you can e-mail me.  

The CVA is in the process of developing a "Stone Market".  As it develops, CVA members will be informed, which means not on this web site.  The mechanics are complex, so there may be several revisions before its process becomes routine.  But the stones are now being kept in Den Haag (Rigolettostraat 28).

The factory has begun using the old molds!!! 

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),  Germany, 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.  But Burkhard is now offering the video on CD which can be run on almost all computers.

Today, there are many collectors and builders using Anchor Stone Building Sets.  These collectors often participate in setting up Anchor displays at various exhibitions.   The last exhibition was held from September 20 until October 2, 2004, in Jena, Germany, in the Goethe Gallery. 

A number of Anchor collectors are members of the international Club of Anchor Friends (Club van Ankervrienden), a Dutch club with members from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, Chile, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and the USA.  The meetings of the Club of Anchor Friends is held in 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 sets.  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 -- ISBN: 0-9656288-0-9.  (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, $60 (or 40 Euros, your choice), 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, which costs just $2.00, or as a download -- English version or German version.

 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.  See below.

CD-ROM Archive::  You can now download almost the entire CD-ROM archive from a new web site.  The CVA's CD-Archive:  More scans are being added all of the time, and the "holes" in the documentation are being filled.  For CVA members only, there are 9 CD-ROMs of the old MLBs (including an overview CD-ROM) and 3 CD-ROMs of the AHN (including an overview CD-ROM).  (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.  If you cannot find what you want on the Internet, feel free to e-mail me.

The new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany has added many new designs to its web site (thanks to the help of Burkhardt Schulz).  They can be easily downloaded, as they are PDF 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 -- -- indicates that this site is the official web site of the Club of Anchor Friends.

My e-mail address is  

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 this web site, I can provide only a limited view of the wonderful world of Richter's Anchor stones.

Other web sites with Anchor pictures and information:
         web site operated by the CVA, (in Dutch, Deutsch, English, Français);
         the home page of Andrea Mazzocco, Switzerland, (auf Deutsch);
         downloads from of Andrea Mazzocco, Switzerland, (auf Deutsch);
           This web site offers many new designs for the sets.  The designs are drawn in the standard Richter manner.  Those
           who have created their own designs are invited to send them to AV Burkhard Schulz, Ellerau (bei Hamburg).
         the home page of Burkhard Schulz, (auf Deutsch);
         new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (auf Deutsch and in English);
           This web site contains additional Anchor links.
         successor to the Ankerpharm factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (auf Deutsch);
         the USA importer and distributor;
         Pagina Web en Castellano, (en Español);
         Hungarian web page by Janos Vegh, (in Magyar [Hungarian]);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (auf Deutsch);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (auf Deutsch);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets who ships worldwide, (auf Deutsch);
         an English retailer of Anchor sets;
         an American retailer of Anchor puzzles and sets;
         Stephen Wessel's Anker page, (auf Deutsch);
         information on Gustav Lilienthal, (auf Deutsch);
         Kunst-Auktionshaus Martin Wendl, (auf Deutsch); 
         Herbert Thaller's homepage, not all Anchor, but wonderful Anchor buildings if you follow the links, (auf Deutsch);
         Alan Winston's Anchor blog ;
         Don Kenske's Anchor blog ;
         Architectural Toys;
         the web site of Rachel Fulton, Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Chicago;
         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.  

For the month of August, 2009.  

Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf Deutsch.  

Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands.  

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

"Anchor" and "Anker" are registered trademarks of the Anker Steinbaukasten GmbH.

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

or you can write to:

George Hardy
6 Deer Path Road
Palmyra, VA 22963
Tel.: (434) 589 8752