Épreuves d'artiste of the first version of Lion au serpent No1, with rocky base, were cast by the fondeur De Braux d'Englure in 1838. This second, undated version, with step-moulded sides to its base, was first offered in Barye's 1845 catalogue (no. 66, 260 francs) and, after his death, was edited by Brame in 1876. It has not been possible to identify what the 1866 date inscribed on the base of the present cast commemorates, but its presence confirms this to be a fine quality épreuve ancienne.
A second cast of this model from Eduardo Guinle's collection was sold in these rooms, 25 May 1995, lot 151 ($10,350).