My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your mystery sculpture.
I sympathize with you not being able to find this mark, it's a tough one. You're right, it's too recent to be in any books on antique or even vintage silver, also there is such a small body of work by this maker that it may well never become anything other than a line item in any future reference.
This J.I.Co mark in a trefoil punch was registered at the Birmingham, UK, assay office in the early 1980s.
Interestingly, your particular piece was assayed in London (because it has the leopard's head punch for the London Assay Office). This can happen for a number of reasons, usually if the maker is 'entered' (registered) with both offices, or sometimes because it may be geographically easier for the maker to get his/her items to one office rather than another.
It also has all the other proper marks, the lion passant, the English royal guarantee of .925 silver fineness and the date letter (as you correctly looked up) for 1984.
To obtain all the information on this mark, simply email the Birmingham Assay Office at:
and ask to contact a wonderfully helpful lady named Phyllis Benedikz who is the librarian/curator. Or contact her direct at:
She usually asks for the following information (which you already have):
- Details of the maker's mark- the letters; type of lettering (e.g. roman, sans serif); position of any dots; shape of the punch outline. Attach this photo too and one of the item itself.
- The date: 1984.
- Other marks present, eg the leopard's head and the lion passant.
If she says it's "not a Birmingham mark" show her this photo of a silver Arab dhow by the same maker, J.I.Co. It was hallmarked "JI Co, Birmingham, 1987", mounted on a wood plinth, 17cm long, that sold at auction last year in the UK for £75.00 (about $100 at the time).
I do hope this helps!
Please let me know if you'd like to explain or expand on any of the above, I would be glad to.