Building with Anker bricks is a fascinating hobby because you can recreate castles, churches and villas in miniature with real bricks
The Anker bricks were manufactured from about 1880 to 1963 by Dr Richter's Anker brick building box factory in Rudolstadt, and for some years now they have been made again by the Anker factory Ankerstein GmbH, also in Rudolstadt, because Anker is alive again!
The classic bricks have the colours yellow, red, and blue for the roofs. Hundreds of brick shapes and as many as 400 different brick construction kits have been released by Richter's factory, each with different construction examples designed in Richter's Kunstanstalt. There are some 20 different series, some with metal parts. You have large-calibre bricks and small-calibre bricks.
In 1979, a number of owners of Anker stone building kits met for the first time to exchange information and swap, buy and sell stones. From this meeting, the Club van Ankervrienden (Club of Anker Friends) was born. The Club has about 240 members, a large part from Germany and the Netherlands furthermore Austria, Switzerland, United States and even Chile. Twice a year there is a club meeting in Hilversum, the Netherlands. At these meetings there are lectures, an auction and, above all, social contacts with other members.
The Club van Ankervrienden is not an elitist club where only big collectors are members. Of course, they are there, those big collectors, but small and beginning collectors are also members of the club and feel at home there. Incidentally, experience shows that the modest collections of these small collectors become less modest with time. This is partly due to the fact that there are Anker Friends who scour town and country in search of Anker bricks and construction kits.
There are almost as many types of Anker friends as there are Anker bricks.
- You have industrial archaeologists among them, who know all about the history of the Richter Anker Factories and who are still making discoveries about hitherto unknown building boxes, stone shapes and building designs.
- You have the collectors who collect everything to do with Anker or Richter, such as other products from the factory, from cocoa tins to puzzles, from medicine bottles to music boxes, as well as old price lists and rare packing samples.
- There are Anker Friends who make replicas of stones that are in short supply. Others go even further: they design totally new stone shapes if they need them to replicate as perfectly as possible an architectural style or a particular building
- You also have the builders, who create new designs themselves and make them available to others. Of these designs, the club maintains an extensive archive, where one can get copies as a member. This archive contains more than just members' designs, most of Richter's construction examples, other documentation on Anker stone construction kits and their history are also kept here.
The club engages in more activities. Four times a year, a magazine is published (Mededelingenblad, MLB) containing articles about our hobby, in Dutch, German and English. A fixed section in the magazine is ‘Demand and Supply’ in which all members can advertise free of charge.
The Club has published its own brick catalogue, which shows all existing bricks, as well as the metal and wooden parts that appear in some series. Moreover, you can find the contents of all boxes. This catalogue can also be viewed online. Another activity is organizing or supporting exhibitions and displays.
A completely new activity is virtual building on the computer with the advanced 3D program AnkerPlan dedicated to Anker stones and only available for members.
In short, the Club van Ankervrienden is a club for everyone interested in Anker kits. If you would like to know more, please contact our membership secretary