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Ask Erin-Marie Wallace Your Own Question
Erin-Marie Wallace
Erin-Marie Wallace, CEO of Appraisals & Auctions
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 137
Experience:  Sotheby's Institute, UK Trained Appraiser & Auctioneer
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I have to mayan artifacts that 25 years were told they are

Customer Question

I have to mayan artifacts that 25 years were told they are authentic. Where can I have them appraised?
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: pottery artefacts in the legs they are hollow and have something like pebbles
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Antiques Appraiser should know?
Customer: My ex mother in law had them appraised many years in Mexico and she was told they are authentic.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 5 months ago.

Greetings, my name is ***** ***** I am a federally certified appraiser and licensed auctioneer with a Master’s degree from Sotheby’s, UK. I would be delighted to assist you with your request. Give me just a moment to review the information you have submitted and I’ll reply momentarily with a few suggestions for how to have your artifacts authenticated.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Would a picture be helpful?
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 5 months ago.

Photographs are never a bad thing, however, I am unable to ascertain authenticity via photos for this type of ceramic. The authenticity of this type of ware is dependent upon some really intricate specifics, such as the type of clay body used, the firing methods and wear patterns; proper authentication will likely need to be hands-on. Thus, I can do one of two things for you, whichever you find will be more helpful...

I can give you 'fair market value' estimates based on the assumption they are authentic, this would be the price you could reasonably expect to sell them for at a specialty auction, in which case photos and dimensions please... or...

Because the field of Mayan / Pre-Columbian artifacts is so esoteric and requires such a specialty I could recommend ethical and verifiable sources that have the experience to properly authenticate them for you. This would be a combination of appraisers and specialist auction houses. If you intention is to sell them, I want to make sure you have responsible and knowledgeable outlets to do so.

Which do you think would be more helpful?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They belong to my sons, but one of them needs money for college, that is why I decided to check into it.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 5 months ago.

I can't think of many reasons to sell which are better than to fund one's education! In your case, what I would recommend is to let me suggest a few auction houses which have a reputation for bringing solid prices and having ethical practices with their sellers and buyers. The best houses also have specialist teams who will handle the authentication for you, this service is included in their commission and negates the necessity of paying a third-party appraiser. In my experience, this is the best way to sell his type of item as you want to be sure that you are offering it to an international market.

Will that help you?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 5 months ago.

Perfect! Give me a few moments to compile a list with contact information, links, etc... frankly, it may take more than a few moments but know that I'm on it!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 5 months ago.

1. Sotheby’s, New York- This is your Blue Chip selection, however be aware that I believe they have a $10k minimum for consignments and once you submit photos of the piece if they do not deem it valuable enough to meet the minimum they will likely not let you know.

a. Alexander Grogan – Assistant VP Head of Dept.(###) ###-####/p>

b. ***** ***** – Associate Specialist -(###) ###-####/p>


2. Bonham’s – 2nd largest to Sotheby’s and like Sotheby’s they run specialist auctions of African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian, but like Sotheby’s they prefer to focus on Blue Chip

a. Fred Backlar – Specialist in African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art – *****@******.***(###) ###-####/p>

b. General Phone Number(###) ###-####/p>

c. *****@******.***

3. Artemis Gallery – A solid mid-range gallery dealing in pieces from $1K-$10K they specialize in and almost exclusive only sell, ancient artifacts. They are also available for authentication independent of their auction services. Franky, this might be the place I would reach out to first.

a. Bob Dodge – Founder/Executive Director – *****@******.***

b. Teresa Dodge – Owner Executive Director –*****@******.***


4. Christie’s – Bringing totals between $1K to over$35K, again a ‘higher-middle-range’ gallery who conduct specialist sales, here is a link to their upcoming May Specialist Sale in which they include African and Oceanic artifacts too.

a. Susan Kloman – International Head of Dept. *****@******.***+1(###) ###-####/a>


I hope this research lists assists you however, if I can answer any additional questions about this, don't hesitate to contact me. I do take requests and by entering"For Erin-Marie" in the subject line, I welcome your future questions.

Please keep in mind, I only receive compensation for my answer once you have rated me positively, your 5-starrating at the conclusion of our correspondence is most appreciated.