"We All Have Our Hobbies" Token
S.C.U.S.T. list only white metal, brass, and copper versions of this token.
The "100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens" by Bowers and Jaeger also list
these three metals with the populations as follows: white metal - 100 to 200 known,
brass 75 to 125 known, copper - 125 to 250 known.
The obverse design and motto is not an original design by George H. The witch
on a broomstick with similar mottos were found on seal fobs in
England at least by the early 1800's. These would have been worn on
a watch fob, or possibly a necklace in the case of a woman, and used
to stamp wax to seal a letter. The piece below came from an old
convent in Glastonbury U.K. The motto reads "ALL HAVE THEIR HOBBIES",
the body of the piece, an elephant standing on a rock, is gold plated
This envelope has been sealed with black wax with the impression of a
slightly different design. The date of 1824 indicates this was already
in use before George H's use of this design.
Bowers and Jaeger but were known as early as 1893 when they
were listed in a Bangs, Merwin & Co. sale. As of September 2018
I knew of 4 German silver and 2 silver examples. My guess would
be there are 10 or less in existence.
German silver (68.85% copper, 21.75% zinc, 9.58% nickle), 27.3mm
So how did the expression "We all have our hobbies" come to be associated
with the image of the witch on a broom stick? "To ride one's hobby-horse"
meant to follow a favorite pastime and eventually led to our modern
usage of the word hobby. And the image of the witch on her broom stick
is very much like a child riding their stick or hobby horse - so she is
pursuing her 'hobby'.
Mason’s Monthly Illustrated Coin Collector’s Magazine, and Price Current, Vol. 1, No. 1, June (1884) : 13.
A bit more interesting, and salacious, is how the riding of a broom stick became
associated with witches. (If you have young numismatist at home you may
want to edit this part). As early as the 14th and 15th centuries there
were accounts of witches brews being used to achieve altered states
by those believed to be witches. These were hallucinogenic plant extracts,
such as deadly nightshade and mandrake, that were used to make ointments
and salves. Eating or drinking these compounds were known to cause
severe intestinal discomfort but they could be absorbed through the
sweat glands of the armpit or a particular mucous membrane found in
women (need I say more?). And a staff, or broom handle, could be
a method of applying these ointments. A fifteenth century account reads "But the
vulgar believe, and the witches confess, that on certain days and
nights they anoint a staff and ride it to the appointed place or anoint
themselves under the arm or other hairy places". And from an
account of a 1600 witch trial "The supposed witch was asked if she
had been at a witch dance, and replied 'Yes, for she was there initiated as a witch'
Who had taken her to it! 'The old shepard's wife had fetched her and they
had gone with a broom'. Did she mean they had flown through the air
on a broom? 'Certainly not; they had walked to Etterle, and the placed
themselves across the broom, and so come onto the dancing green' So they
had not come through the air? 'Certainly not, that required an ointmentwhich ought to be only rarely used' ".
We All Have Our Hobbies / Dedicated To Mules
F.C Key of Philadelphia seems to have obtained both dies and muled them
with several of his dies. Some are listed in the Standard Catalog of U.S.
Tokens, many are not. The ones listed below are those I currently
am aware of.
We All Have Our Hobbies / Key Storecard mules
Pa-Ph 182, brass, 28mm
Pa-Ph 182A, copper, 28mm
Pa-Ph 182B, white metal, 28mm
Dedicated To / Key Storecard mules
Pa-Ph 184, brass, 28mm
Pa-Ph 184A, copper, 28mm
Pa-Ph 184B, white metal, 27.9mm
We All Have Our Hobbies / Edwin Forrest mules
NY 495N, white metal, 28mm
Dedicated To / Edwin Forrest mules
White metal, 28mm
We All Have Our Hobbies / Daniel Webster mules
NY 495K, brass, 27.9mm
Type of NY 495K, white metal, 28mm
Dedicated To / Daniel Webster mules
NY 495J, brass, 28mm
type of 495J, white metal, 28mm
We All Have Our Hobbies / Patriae Pater mules
GW-238, Baker unlisted, brass, 28mm
We All Have Our Hobbies / Mobile Jockey Club mules
Ala 12, copper, 28mm
Ala 13, brass, 28mm
Ala 15, silver, 28mm
Ala 16, copper nickel, 28mm