Old Face

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Waltham USA
Description from user:

Small sculpture of a face. Ceramic or stone possibly terracotta. Could be meso american. Note: the figure is in my parent's flat in London.

It was a gift to my parents at least 50 years ago from a friend who had a collection of New Guinea artifacts from Sepik River. I don't believe this item is New Guinea in origin.

Answered within 2 days
By Delia
Feb 02, 12:10 UTC
Fair Market Value
$200 - $300 USD
Suggested Asking Price $400 USD
What does this mean?

Hi Kate,

Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry.
You are correct that this is not Sepik or from New Guinea; rather, it is most likely from Teotihuacan, which was in Central Mexico. It's a little tricky to assess age from photos but this has good patination and crackelure to suggest it's genuine and "of the period," ie probably as early as 15th/16th Century (possibly even earlier).
Unfortunately, despite its likely old age, there are enough of these kinds of small heads on the market so the value isn't terribly high.
Based on the photos and information provided, and subject to examination, this is:

An antique Precolumbian Teotihuacan style pottery head
Mesoamerican, probably 16th century or earlier
The stylized figural head wearing a hat with rolled rim, robustly rendered features (eyes, nose, mouth and ears with earrings).
5 1/2 inches high.
CONDITION: appears to be in good condition for its age, with some cracking and losses.
PROVENANCE: inherited
*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary.

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