Though he was known primarily for his animalier sculptures, Pierre-Jules Mêne also created a series of figural groups – often of hunters – which were shown in the Parisian salons of the late 19th century. The present group 'Fauconnier arabe à cheval’ was first shown in a wax version at the Salon of 1873 (no. 1794) and subsequently in bronze in the Salon of 1874 (no. 3042). Mêne’s partnership with the Susse Frères foundry, whose cachet is visible on the present bronze, resulted in two sizes of this model being cast, primarily in the beginning of the 20th century. The present group is a fine example of the larger size, and is of the same proportions as that shown at the Salon and cast by the artist’s atelier. An identical group, also with the Susse Frères cachet, sold Christie’s, New York, 24 October 2007, lot 8 ($20,000).