The small 19 x 17in (49 x 43cm) oil on mahogany board was painted by Władysław Szerner (1836-1915), a Polish artist noted for his detailed restoration of costumes and weapons from the time of the Swedish wars, the Tatar and skirmishes with the Cossacks.
“It was meticulous in its detail and almost appeared to trot off the panel at you,” said auctioneer and partner Aaron Dean. Bearing a restorer’s label from 1967, the picture was in good condition and attracted plenty of pre-sale interest.
On the day, it eclipsed its £1000-2000 estimate as phone bidders from Poland, America and the UK battled it out before selling to a UK private collector at £4900.
A larger oil on canvas titled Resting Cossack holds the record for the artist at auction, selling for £18,000 at Sotheby’s in 2001.