Auction Catalogue

20 August 2020

Starting at 10:00 AM


The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria

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№ 660


20 August 2020

Hammer Price:

The City of London Imperial Volunteers tribute medallion awarded to Lionel Phillips Esq., Finance Committee, C.I.V.

City of London Imperial Volunteers for South Africa 1899-1900 Medallion, 76mm, bronze, the obverse featuring a seated female figure with sword, presenting the freedom of the city to a uniformed man in the City Imperial Volunteers, the reverse featuring the radiant sun of the British Empire shining behind a hill which is surmounted by a tall staff flying the Union Flag and C.I.V. Flag, guarded by two guns, the edge inscribed in large capitals ‘Lionel Phillips Esq: C.I.V. (Finance Comee.)’, nearly extremely fine £100-£140

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria.

View The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria


Lionel Phillips was a British-born South African financier, mining magnate and politician. Born in London on 6 August 1855, he came from a lower middle class background with little formal education, and arriving at Kimberley in 1875 he quickly made and lost his first fortune in the diamond industry there. A friend of Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Beit, and a supporter of the reformers movement, he was imprisoned and initially sentenced to death following the failure of the Jameson Raid. He was reprieved by President Kruger, however, and cautioned to refrain from dabbling in politics on pain of exile - a warning which he ignored, resulting in his being banished from the Transvaal by State Attorney, Jan Smuts.

Phillips next settled at Tylney Hall in Hampshire and remained there until the end of the Boer War when he was persuaded to return to Johannesburg by Alfred Beit and Julius Wernher in the interests of their firm
Wernher, Beit & Co. Elected to the Chamber of Mines and, in 1910, also to the Union House of Assembly as a member of the Unionist Party, he was considered an authority on South African Gold Mining and the undisputed leader and spokesman for the mining industry. Moving back to London in 1914, as Managing Director of the Central Mining Company, he advised the British Government during the Great War before returning to settle on a farm near Somerset West in South Africa in 1924. He died in 1936 and together with his wife, Florence, left South Africa a major legacy through their art collections.