The Lion Marchant, or Walking Lion, by the French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye (1796-1875), is the touchstone of 19th-century animal sculpture. Barye is considered to be the finest of the French animaliers (animal sculptors), and the Walking Lion is his masterpiece. The Barbedienne bronze foundry purchased the rights to reproduce Barye's works after the artist's death in 1875. Although I bought this piece in Toulouse a decade ago, this particular lion seems to have made his way to England or the US at some point early in his life: the plaque on the front of the base bears the inscription, "Presented to Mary E. Tyson by her fellow workers at The Williams, Inc., as a token of their esteem, February 9th, 1916." The lion has an alluring, three-dimensional patina, with elements of black, brown, and blue-green. French, circa 1900. H: 12"/25 cm.