Catherine Gage

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Catherine Gage
Born18 May 1815
Died16 February 1892(1892-02-16) (aged 76)
Resting placeRathlin Island
Known forbotanical and ornithological illustration
Notable work
illustrated Birds of Rathlin Island
Parent(s)Rev. Robert Gage, Catherine Boyd

Catherine Gage (18 May 1815 – 16 February 1892) was an Irish botanist, botanical and ornithological illustrator.[1][2]


Gage's home, Manor House, Rathlin Island

Catherine Gage was born in County Down on 18 May 1815,[3] the daughter of Rev. Robert Gage and Catherine Boyd.[4] Gage lived her entire life in the family home, Manor House on Rathlin Island.[5] Gage died 16 February 1892 and was buried on Rathlin Island.[6]

Illustration work[edit]

Gage seems to have devoted a large portion of her life to illustrating a book by her brother Robert Gage on the birds of Rathlin Island that was never published.[7] The book was styled on that of John James Audubon's The Birds of America.[7] During the course of this work she produced over five hundred watercolours of birds.[1] She also illustrated local plants, creating a list for the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, the abstract for which was published in the 1850 Annals and Magazine of Natural History.[6] She also worked with her sister, Barbara Gage, illustrating the local flora as well as the fauna.[8]

When the folio of bird illustrations was auctioned in 2010, they were sold for €13,500.[9]


  1. ^ a b Newmann, Kate. "Catherine Gage (1815 - 1892): Artist". Dictionary of Ulster Biography. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. ^ Praeger, Robert Lloyd (1949). Some Irish Naturalists: A Biographical Notebook. Dundalk: Dundalgan Press. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Catherine Gage". The Peerage. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ Newmann, Kate. "Catherine Gage (1791 - 1852): Historian". Dictionary of Ulster Biography. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  5. ^ McCurdy, John; McCurdy, Jennifer. "Island History". Rathlin Island. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b Lett, Canon H.W. (1913). "Botanists of the North of Ireland". The Irish Naturalist. 22 (2): 26.
  7. ^ a b Battersby, Eileen (4 October 2010). "Women artists a feature of Slane sale". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  8. ^ Butler, Patricia (2000). Irish Botanical Illustrators & Flower Painters. Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club. p. 68. ISBN 9781851493579.
  9. ^ "Slane Auction Brings Over One Million Euro". Antiques and Art Ireland. Retrieved 20 May 2015.