Inkstand by William Plummer, 1786, engraved with the Chute and Barrett-Lennard (Dacre) arms. Image: Bonhams
We purchased this delicate boat-shaped inkstand at Bonhams in London on 30 June. It was once owned by Thomas Chute (1721-1790) of The Vyne, Hampshire, and it will now go back on display there.
View of The Vyne by Johann Heinrich Muntz (1727-98), c 1755. The view is slightly idealised, reflecting John Chute's plans for the house as well as the reality. ©NTPL
The Vyne was orinially a Tudor house owned by the Sandys family. In 1653 it was bought by Chaloner Chute (c 1595-1659), Speaker of the House of Commons. He employed the architect John Webb, a pupil of Inigo Jones, to add the portico to the north front in the 1650s, the first of its kind on an English country house.
Bench designed by Mark Brazier-Jones on display on the staircase landing at The Vyne. Its shape and detailing seem to echo the silver inkwell shown above. ©National Trust
His descendant John Chute (1701-1776) was a friend of the collector Horace Walpole, and he was a member of the ‘Committee of Taste’ that helped to design Walpole’s famous Gothick villa at Twickenham, Strawberry Hill.
Baroque? Rococo? Neo-classical? Pieces by Mark Brazier-Jones in the setting of John Chute's staircase. ©National Trust
The Strawberry Hill circle was in the vanguard of the new antiquarian taste. At The Vyne John Chute refurbished some rooms in the Gothick style, while in others he employed a neo-classical idiom. The staircase, in particular, is a neo-classical tour de force.
You can probably spot the Brazier-Jones by now. ©National Trust
John Chute bequeathed The Vyne to the above-mentioned Thomas Chute, a distant cousin originally called Lobb who assumed the Chute name upon coming into his inheritance.
A chair combining the traditions of stamped leather, metalwork and horsemanship in the Oak Gallery. ©National Trust
The Vyne is currently hosting an exhibition by designer Mark Brazier-Jones (until 1 August), showing his avant-garde pieces in the context of John Chute’s radical eighteenth-century interiors.