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George Rae

Birkenhead banker and art collector (1817-1902)

George Rae (1817-1902), a Birkenhead-based banker, formed an unrivalled collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings including now famous works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Arthur Hughes, as well as landscapes by Liverpool artists such as William Davis and William J Bond. In particular Rae was an enthusiastic patron of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82). Many of Rae's paintings are now in public museums including the Walker Art Gallery, the Lady Lever Art Gallery and Tate.

Amongst the positions he held during his career, Rae was Chairman of the North & South Wales Bank and he wrote extensively on banking. His interests outside banking included the Tryddyn Oil & Coke Co. Rae also enjoyed travelling and the places he visited included Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

Rae lived in Birkenhead at his house, Redcourt, Devonshire Place, Claughton, where his collection once hung. (Redcourt: designed by Edmund Kirby, built 1876-79). Rae died there in 1902. His estate was valued at £192,000 net; £198,092 gross. The remains of Rae's collection were finally dispersed in June 1939 following the death of the last of his daughters.

The Rae family were Anglicans and attended St Saviour’s Church, Oxton, where the West Window with Burne-Jones' designs is a memorial to him.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Previous owner
  • Nationality
    British
  • Born
    21 October 1817
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: Scotland: Aberdeenshire: Aberdeen
  • Died
    04 August 1902
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Merseyside: Wirral: Claughton
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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