The 9½ x 20¾in (24 x 53cm) signed oil on board came to Mallams (25% buyer’s premium) from a local deceased estate – that of the late Patrick Dockar-Drysdale who died last year.
The same source also provided the Oxford saleroom with the impressive group of Sarah Stone (c.1760-1844) watercolours that performed well in February (see Art Market, ATG No 2536).
Works by Costa appear fairly often at sales in the UK partly due to his frequent trips to England (he was close friends with artists such as Frederic Leighton and Charles Coleman) and also his popularity among English collectors in his day (he exhibited works at both the Royal Academy and the Fine Art Society).
The example at Mallams was a small but well-conceived landscape titled Dawn – Study of the Awakening of Nature. It includes a depiction of Pan, the Greek god of nature, who rises to the lower left of the picture.
Pitched at £1500-2500, it sold at £7200 – a mid-range sum for the artist but a decent price for a work of this size.