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Generous whisky magnate had an eye for art

CHARLES Hepburn had an eye for art with a provenance and personally chose the once- vibrantly hued carpet that has been an adornment of regal occasions.

Experts say the Coronation Carpet was probably woven in the royal Persian city of Isfahan 300 years ago, and it later sat under the throne upon which Edward VII was crowned at Westminster Cathedral in 1902. It was loaned for the coronation of George V in 1911 and then the marriage of Princess Mary in 1922.

Mr Hepburn bought the carpet in 1938 and it went to Glasgow Cathedral in 1971 when he died aged 80.

He was joint founder with the late Herbert Ross of the firm of whisky blenders whose Red Hackle product is now marketed throughout the world.

Glasgow University Library received more than 300 volumes in the Hepburn Bequest. In 1964 he was given an honorary doctorate for his "abundant generosity" to the university.

Hepburn House in University Gardens was also gifted and is now home to the Department of Scottish Literature.

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