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AppraiserJM
AppraiserJM, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 2543
Experience:  Certified Appraiser, Appraiser's Association of America. USPAP qualified through 2015.
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I have two small pre colombian mayan artifacts. My step

Customer Question

I have two small pre colombian mayan artifacts. My step father brought them back from Mexico 26 years ago
JA: I always love having an appraiser look at my stuff. Sometimes its turned out to be surprisingly valuable. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.
Customer: I don't know much because he brought them back in his motor home and told me he wasn't supposed to have them, so I assume they were purchased on the black market
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Antiques Appraiser should know?
Customer: They are two small heads with a lot of detail, one is a boy and the other a dog.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 11 months ago.

Hi, my name is*****'m a certified appraiser, and I'd be happy to help.

I will need to see photos. You can upload them using the instructions here:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/help/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert-0

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am unable to access the page shown on the upload instructions
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Did you receive the pictures?
Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 11 months ago.

I have the photos. I don't work by phone call, I'll get back to you shortly.

Jennifer

Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 11 months ago.

So these are two Precolumbian pottery or carved stone heads--looks like pottery but I can't say for sure in a photo. One is a Toltec warrior, and one is a dog. Both, as you can see, came off of larger figures at one point.

It's possible he found or bought them like that, it's also possible (from the way you told the story) he broke them off something bigger. This used to happen quite a lot, particularly in the 70s and 80s. There was an excavation of a major Tula tomb in 1989, and it appears quite a bit went missing.

These are circa(###) ###-####AD, from Tula. That said, Pre Columbian pieces are not terribly valuable, perhaps $100 each at resale.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't wish to sell them and feel bad about the way my family came to possess them. Is there a way to return them to the area from which they were taken?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also, they do appear to be stone rather than pottery
Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 11 months ago.

If they are stone it's possible they were chipped off of something purposefully.

Here's how I am feeling--that Toltec warrior is an absolutely stereotypical version of the Atlantean warrior figures at Tula. I've never seen a small one before. So yours is either a) a carefully aged copy (happens all the time), or b) taken off the actual site. Can't tell which without an expert with a black light.

There is a small museum at the ruins at Tula, that would be the place for it to go back to if real.

Jennifer

Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 11 months ago.

I see this question is still open. How can I help you further?

Jennifer

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for the information, I will contact the museum at Tula and follow their recommendation.