Looking at the head shape and the way the forelegs bend inwards, it has rather a seal like quality about it, although obviously the length of the tail depicted in the drawing precludes that assumption.
I'm wondering if it's an artists impression of the extinct P. Darwini. the so called walking seal, discovered in the Canadian Arctic?
Only a guess but who knows.
At first glance it looks like an animal with a lion-(or baboon-)mane and a thin curved tail, but after noticing that the feet was very mustelid I "reconstructed" the head and tail. Now I think that it has a short and thick tail (with an "artistic" double outline) and that the neck is not covered in a thick mane, but quite slender (and that the artist has not been very good at showing this - or anything else...). The dark face makes me think on a honey badger (a.k.a. ratel) or, perhaps even more, a grison (see this link or this or this or this).
I think the picture is far too ambiguous for a positive ID and is open to personal interpretation by the individual.
For me, the stop on the nose is far too defined for it to be a Honey Badger. The Badger head appears to be too small although the small ears are rather similar.
My attention is drawn to the flipper like fore limbs and the way they have been presented in the drawing, also the way the nose, eyes and ears are all in a line allowing the least amount of exposure as it floats at the surface of the water, suggesting some sort of aquatic animal, hence my guess at a seal.
I'm afraid we'll never truly know identity of the creature depicted, unless a written record has been left by the artist. (have a look on the back of the drawing, you never know).
I for one would enjoy it for what it is. A mysterious Chimera.
Well, isn't it a question about probabilities? I strongly believe that the probability that the artist had any knowledge at all about "protoseals" (walking with their feet inwards?) is far less than that he/she made a sloppy illustration of the angle between the forhead and the nose1. Also my impression of the drawing, or rather the framing, is that it is not very recent, which means that the knowledge about the ancestors of seals were even less when it was drawn (this lack of knowledge could explain the feet - but I don't think it does).
My preferred guess on this ambiguous (at least on this we agree) drawing remains, as before, not with the honey badger but the South and Central American grisons Galictis sp. (the feet and short fore-legs agree, the higher rear-part agrees, the thick tail agrees, the pointed tip of the nose agrees, the colouration agrees, the ears agrees... but the sloppily drawn forehead-nose transition disagrees).
1 I guess that is what you object, because that is what I can find objectable - but I don't really get the meaning of "stop on the nose" (English is not my first language).
I think it is a Honey Badger from Africa which is led by the honey guide bird