The pots, paintings and two angels were later discovered under a picnic table behind Peachtree Baptist Church, near Spring Hope in Nash County.
A woman at the church saw the items and thought someone had donated them to the church.
The SBI checked the stolen items and the plexiglass cases they were stored in for fingerprints. Investigators expect to find the prints of several church members who handled the items before they knew what they were.
Louisburg College Art Professor Will Hinton is just glad to have the collection back.
The school hopes to display the collection in its gallery by next week, with a little more security in place.
The work was worth close to $7,000.