A Collection of Medals to Members of the Nobility and The Royal Household

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Date of Auction: 8th December 2016

Sold for £440

Estimate: £300 - £400

Family Group:

The C.B.E. attributed to Mai, Lady Kylsant
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Civil) Commander’s 1st type lady’s shoulder badge, silver-gilt and enamel, on lady’s bow riband, in Garrard, London, case of issue; together with an H.M.S. Conway Prize Distribution Medal, gold (9ct., hallmarks for Birmingham 1921), the reverse engraved ‘Prize Distribution Lady Philipps, C.B.E., July 26th. 1921.’, in fitted case of issue, about extremely fine

The Shorthorn Society of Great Britain Prize Medal, silvered, the obverse featuring a portrait bust of H.M. King George V, Patron, the reverse engraved within wreath ‘Awarded Sir Owen Philipps. G.C.M.G. at United Counties Agricl. Society’s Show, 1922.’, in John Pinches, London, case of issue, extremely fine (3) £300-400


C.B.E. London Gazette 30 March 1920.

Mai Alice Magdalene, Baroness Kylsant, was born Mai Morris, the daughter of Thomas Morris Esq., and married Owen Cosby Philipps, later 1st Baron Kylsant, on 16 September 1902, with whom she had three daughters. She served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Carmarthanshire, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1920 for her work as Vice-Chairman of the Warehouse Committee of the Order of St. John. Lady Kylsant died on 14 December 1952.

Owen Cosby Philipps, 1st Baron Kylsant, was born in Warminster, Wiltshire, on 25 March 1863, the son of the Revd. Sir James Philipps, Bt. and his wife Mary, and married Miss Mai Morris on 16 September 1902. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1906-22, was created a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1909, being advanced to G.C.M.G. in 1918 (’for services to the Dominions and Colonies in connection with shipping and other matters’), and was elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Kylsant on 14 February 1923. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Haverfordwest the following year.

Lord Kylsant had various shipping interests, and was Chairman and Managing Director of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, as well as holding a controlling interest in the Union-Castle Line, the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, and the White Star Line. In 1924 he also became Chairman of Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipbuilders. However, in 1931 he was charged with making false statements with regard to company accounts. Convicted of producing a document (the prospectus issued for the 1928 debenture stock issue) with the intent to deceive, contrary to the Larceny Act, he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at the Old Bailey, and served his sentence at Wormwood Scrubs Gaol. Upon his conviction he was stripped of his Knighthood, and resigned as Lord Lieutenant. Lord Kylsant died at Llangynog, Carmarthenshire, on 5 June 1937, heirless. In his obituary, The Times reported, ‘Lord Kylsant bore his trial with great dignity, cast no blame on any colleagues, and on return to ordinary life retired to his residence in South Wales. On his return to Coomb he was given a warm welcome and his car was drawn by 40 men at a running pace for about a quarter of a mile to the entrance of the house, and passed under an arch of laurel and evergreen which had been built over the gates. All who knew him acquitted him of any desire to act criminally, and they laid the responsibility on the assumption of duties beyond the power of any individual to bear and on a certain financial recklessness and a belief in the future which events showed was unjustified.’