Gustave Milklos (1888-1967) arrived in Paris in 1909 from his native Hungary after studying painting at the Fine Art School in Budapest. Joining his compatriot Joseph Czaky, who had arrived a few months earlier, he settled in 'La Ruche' and was very soon exhibiting in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, before joining the French Army in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. Serving in the bataillon d'Orient, he was posted to Salonica. Here he discovered Byzantine art, a revelation that proved a major influence in his aesthetic development.
Back in Paris in 1919, Miklos became closely involved with the artistic avant-garde while developing the range of his technical skills. He spent time in the lacquer workshop of Brugier, before becoming interested in the art of enamelling. In 1921 he was introduced to Jean Dunand and worked occasionally for the famous lacquer artist and dinandier, exploring alongside him the skills of metalwork. In the following years he dedicated himself principally to sculpture and developed a very pure style in which his formalised concepts inspired a connection with the structural essence of all things, 'preserving an element of mystery that draws us insistently back, provoking close observation, and reflection'. He engaged closely in the execution of his works, taking personal care of patient and precious finishing, sensitive to the ways in which surfaces could catch and play with light.
Jacques Doucet discovered his work at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in 1920 and commissioned Miklos over the next few years to create carpets and a series of enamelled objects. These included a pair of enamelled and gilt bronze andirons in the form of stylized animals, delivered in 1925 for the avenue du Bois, and bronze-mounted crystals for the chimney mantle, pieces subsequently featured in the Studio Saint James, for which Miklos was also to design bronze fittings. The working relationship with Doucet was to last till the collector's death in 1929