Arthur Court silver looks like silver, especially if it's buffed to a high gleam, but you won't need silver polish to keep the patina shiny -- the pieces are actually nature- and animal-inspired aluminum, created by a San Francisco design house.

Originally crafted by Arthur Court in the 1970s, his line of serve ware includes trays, tongs, serving pieces and, more recently, decorative items such as picture frames. The line was initially picked up by high-end stores intrigued by the silver-look and intricate designs. It took another decade for department stores to discover the line of creatively cast motifs and offer them to the general public.

Cleaning Arthur Court silver is easy, and it's just one of the pleasures of this line of alternative metal products. Frequent cleansing is not needed. Just wipe with a soft cloth to freshen and dust, if stored uncovered.

For deeper cleaning, follow this method.

Cleaning Method

  • Soak the pieces in a sink filled with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing soap.
  • Gently swathe with a soft cloth or chamois to remove dust, dirt and built-up grime.

  • Rinse with warm water.

  • Towel dry immediately. Use a cotton swab to dry inside crevices.

  • Let stand before returning to the original storage cabinet.
  • If a piece was cleaned in a dishwasher and the luster is gone, use an aluminum cleaner to restore it; however, the finish may end up looking like pewter.