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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 10, March 5, 2000, Article 9


Bill Burd of Chicago Coin Co. writes:

"I read The E-Sylum every week - very enjoyable. Regarding the Critic's Corner, I would assume most subscribers have Breen's Encylopedia but wonder what percent have Forrer's Biographical Dictionary. I am not a critic so I won't comment other than to say I have found it to be very useful on several occasions."

George Fuld writes:

"The subject of Forrer's Dictionary is interesting. This is a landmark publication, especially for British related issues. The indexing is poor, and much American material is sparse -- but it is still the most useful publication of the type available. Certainly it needs revision based on today's knowledge, but who would attempt it?

I have found it to be most invaluable over the years, as long as you didn't take everything as gospel."

George Kolbe writes:

"I consult Forrer quite often and usually find the information I seek. To me, it is invaluable! This is from a bibliographical view, so I cannot vouch for it from a numismatic perspective, though I have rarely if ever heard anything negative from my clientele.

When the van der Dussen-Baldwin set came out I actively promoted it and sold fifty sets or so. Since then, through my auctions and private sales I have surely sold near that number again. No one has ever expressed buyer's remorse, and it has taken more than a little arm-twisting, on occasion, to sell sets to those I believe should have it. As I mention in my catalogues, the most recent reprint (the Franklin reprint contains printing errors in the first volume) is one of those cases where the reprint is preferable to the original, though the elegance of a well-preserved original set in the original blue morocco is compelling to some (me included).

Not everyone knows that the work originally appeared serially in Spink's "Numismatic Circular." So, if you buy the relevant years of that venerable journal, you get quite a bonus."

[Editor's note: the original was published between 1902 and 1930; The Burt Franklin reprint around 1970, and the van der Dussen reprint around 1980]

Wayne Homren, Editor

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