Las Vegas-based Max Pawn Locates Priceless Memento

When a customer showed Max Pawn a framed piece of artwork depicting creatures, Mack knew it was special.Pixar Animation Studio’s Steve Pilcher Created Artwork At Age 18 as a Class Project

When a customer showed Las Vegas pawnbroker Michael Mack a framed piece of artwork depicting creatures, Mack knew it was special.

As it turns out, the piece was created as a class project nearly 40 years ago by then-student Steve Pilcher, who eventually went on to become an award-winning animation designer.

Pilcher is known for his work on Shrek the Third, Brave and Osmosis Jones.

Mack's customer purchased Pilcher’s piece at an art fair and had no idea of its value, but brought it in to sell it, Mack said, adding that he has been in touch with Pilcher to return the piece based on its sentimental value and family nostalgia.

“He couldn’t believe we had it,” said Mack, principal of Max Pawn in Las Vegas. “One of my favorite aspects of our business is finding extraordinary treasures and pieces of history. When I first saw the artwork, I thought one of the characters looked a little bit like Shrek. Who knew that Steve Pilcher’s artwork would become the concept for a major motion picture character so many years later?”

Max Pawn, which also sells online, will have appraisers and buyers at The Great Estate Buyers Roadshow March 30 to April 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Palace Hotel and Casino’s Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.

The roadshow will purchase more than $5 million of merchandise, including coins, gold, silver, vintage jewelry, watches, designer handbags and more.

“The timing of the roadshow is ideal, because many families are looking to generate extra cash prior to tax time,” Mack said.

About Max Pawn:

Max Pawn ( is located at 6040 W. Sahara in Las Vegas.  The store, which also sells online, showcases more than 5,000 square feet of luxury items. Michael Mack, the executive producer of Pawn Talk Live, Live in Las Vegas and Pawn Talk en Espanol, opened Max Pawn in 2009, at the height of the recession.

The store has distinguished itself in the Las Vegas market as a luxury destination that caters to women, specializing in handbags, jewelry, accessories, electronics and more.

Max Pawn offers customers a number of options, and will consign or sell items, while also offering loans.

With experts in Rolex, Cartier and Swiss Watches, Max Pawn is Nevada’s first “Craigslist Safe Zone,” offering a safe, friendly third-party location to exchange or validate items purchased online.

Customers of the newly expanded luxury Las Vegas pawn shop can now sell items back to the store within 90 days or even six months and receive a portion of the purchase price back, through the newly introduced buy back program.

Customers can also book an appointment to have a stylist from the Max Pawn team come to their homes to help them decide what to keep and what to sell through the store’s “Closet Service.”