The celebrated craftsman Feodor Rückert was renowned for reviving traditional Russian style in enamelling. Whilst having a unique individual style, his works are reminiscent of Russian medieval and folk art which was very popular among wealthy Moscow merchants who traditionally had a more Slavic taste, and were often commissioned by Fabergé.
Recognising the quality and workmanship of Feodor Rückert's creations, the Fabergé firm retailed his works often overstriking Rückert's mark with its own. This collaboration was very successful and led to appreciation not just from the Russian clients, but also Fabergé’s foreign customers who enjoyed Rückert’s fine craftsmanship and high artistic quality. A comparable enamelled box with the view of Moscow Kremlin, currently part of the Royal Collection, was purchased by Grand Duchess Marie, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and presented to King George V in 1920 (C. de Guitaut, Royal Fabergé, London, 2011, pp. 150-151, no. 182).
For his works in the neo-Russian style, Rückert turned to sources of national folk art and ancient Russian patterns. Some of his works, including the present casket, demonstrate the influence of the Abramtsevo and Talashkino workshops. The stylised mushrooms and flowers on this casket resemble Russian folk motifs and capture the charm of old Russia.
It is extremely rare to find Rückert's objects decorated on the reverse of the en plein enamelled scene with an old Russian design. The inside cover of the present casket is counter-enamelled in translucent blue over engraved foliate motifs, which sets it apart from other comparable caskets.
The impressive size and rare subject matter make this casket an exceptional example. Only a very small number of Rückert’s works decorated with a view of Kremlin are known. A comparable box is in the collection of the Fabergé Museum, St Petersburg (V. Voronchenko et. al., Fabergé Treasures of Imperial Russia, Fabergé Museum, St Petersburg, 2017, p. 266). Another comparable casket with an almost identical view of the Moscow Kremlin was sold at Sotheby’s, London, 26 November 2019, lot 404. For another similarly designed but smaller casket, see A. von Solodkoff, Russian Gold and Silver, London, 1981, no. 69.