Ron Stewart obituary

Growing up, we’re supposed to think our parents aren’t cool. With my father, Ron Stewart, Stew to his friends, who has died aged 80, this was impossible. He once returned home from a trip, casually mentioning he had just bought an entire country’s rug production. The country was Nepal, the rugs were made from nettles, and no one had brought them to Europe before. This was entirely normal for Stew, a quietly extraordinary man.

Stew started out with rugs and textiles that he sold first wholesale and then at Liberty in London, where he worked from 1989 until 2000, running the carpet department. In time “the shop” created the oriental department for Stew to sell items from around the world. Japanese pottery, Indonesian furniture, fetish masks from West Africa – he learned about them, sought them out, and sold them all in the shop.

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