Barye modelled no less than seven different versions of Cheval turc, one of his most Romantic works. Although the earliest in date, Cheval turc No1 was not offered until his final catalogue (1874-5) and, in fact, only one épreuve is known, that being from a posthumous edition by Brame. The first two versions of Cheval turc No2 (on rectangular bases and having left and right forelegs raised respectively) were first offered in Besse's 1844 catalogue and appeared in all of Barye's subsequent catalogues. Remodelled with oval bases, the third and fourth versions of No2 were offered after 1857. Whilst the latter two versions did not figure in the 1876 Atelier sale, the rectangular-based modèle with raised right foreleg was acquired and immediately edited in a limited number by Brame. By contrast, the corresponding modèle with raised left foreleg was purchased by Goupil and edited by Barbedienne until the mid-1920s. It is therefore this version of Cheval turc that is seen most frequently.
Cheval turc No3, antérieur gauche levé, the version offered in the following two lots, is roughly two-thirds the size of No2, and exhibits subtle differences in modelling. Like No1, this version was only offered in Barye's final catalogue, and Poletti and Richarme estimate the total number of lifetime épreuves to be less than twenty. Together with No2, the modèle was acquired by Goupil at the Atelier sale and edited by Barbedienne until the 1920s.
A posthumous épreuve of Cheval turc No3, bearing the gold FB Barbedienne stamp, was sold Sotheby's London, 4 June 1998, lot 2 (£10,925).