CRITIC'S CORNER: FORRER'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
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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