Category:Sander's Tudor Bricks

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Toy Brands and Manufacturers

Sander's Tudor Bricks

The Box No.2, Sander's Tudor Stone Building Bricks in the museum's collection, and the company that made it, are both currently something of a mystery. There doesn't seem to be any information about a toymaker called "Sander's" in the standard literature or on the internet (other than a brief mention that these bricks exist).

Distinctive features

The set is unusual in a few ways:

  • Firstly, its focus is on very ornamental "quaint" buildings, and the results often have a strange stylised and cartoonish feel to them, similar to the artwork used in early colour Disney "fairytale" cartoons. The details and the layouts in the handbook suggest that the set was designed by someone with a good knowledge of medieval architecture.
  • Secondly, the build quality of the blocks isn't as high as you'd normally expect from a set of this sort. The blocks are rough, many seem irregularly-moulded, and they don't have the pressed "high-density" feel and sheen of blocks from other manufacturers such as Lotts Bricks. Some almost look as if they've been home-made from mortar, and varnished. "Test" buildings made from the Museum's set have tended to be rather wobbly.
  • Thirdly, there's no information on the box or in the accompanying manual as to exactly who this "Sander's" company were, where they were based, or when they made the set. The last page of the manual is blank, and would have been an ideal place to put company information, but it's not there. Given the measures that toymaking companies usually went to to assert ownership and rights over their products, this is odd.

With these things in mind, we think that these sets may have been produced specially as promotional items.


Alf Sanders?

While we were looking for a "Sander's" toymaking company, our research has turned up a parallel story: in the 1920s a property developer called Alf Sanders built a series of similarly fairytale-like "mock Tudor" houses for real, in the Hampton Hills estate, Oakcliff District, Dallas, Texas USA, and promoted them heavily. We originally thought that these toy block sets might have been commissioned by Sanders as a way of promoting his houses (or simply because he was a fan of Tudor buildings in general).


However, we've since found adverts for the sets in German in a German toy catalogue, and been contacted by a collector telling us that the sets were German, and that there's a German identification on the lower left corner of the box sticker that, on our example, has been torn off. This raises the possibility that our attempts at identification might have been hampered by the deliberate removal of the sticker corner, if a previous (British?) owner was not happy with continually being being reminded that their playset was German-produced.

Franz Sanders

Tobias Hötzer of Austria writes to tell us:

" These sets were manufactured by Franz Sanders in Köln-Sürth, Germany from 1911-1913. The sets were sold under the name "Sander's Renaissance-Steinbaukasten" in German-speaking countries. "

Armed with this additional information, we've been able to find other examples of sets online, with German documentation, marked DRGM , for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster, meaning that it was a German-registered design (registered some time between between 1891 and 1952).

External links

Pages in category ‘Sander's Tudor Bricks’

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.