Flow blue was a type of transfer pottery produced by Staffordshire, England, potters beginning in about 1820. Sold mostly in the U.S. market, flow blue was similar to traditional blue-and-white pottery, except that the blue color was deliberately blurred, an effect achieved by adding a cup of lime or ammonia to the kiln during glazing.

English manufacturers of antique flow blue included Wedgwood, Johnson Brothers, Minton, Royal Doulton, and Swansea. Patterns ranged from Blue Danube to Idris to the classic Willow. As for the objects themselves, they included toilet wares and teapots, plates and platters, vases and garden seats, and even dog bowls.

One interesting subset of flow blue is the blue-marble effect. All-over patterns such as Lazuli lent itself to this look: When given the flow-blue treatment, the pattern would blur so that from afar the object resembled a piece of carved, blue-veined marble.

By World War I, U.S. potteries were producing most of the flow blue for the domestic market, causing English potters to exit the business, which had never been popular in the U.K. to begin with. The desirability of the ware waned in both countries between the wars, but interest picked up again in the U.S. in the 1960s. Because large amounts of 19th-century flow blue had been shipped to, or manufactured in, the U.S., flow blue remains fairly reasonable to collect.

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Amazng Large Victorian Doulton Burslem Flow Blue Flower Insects Cheese Dome DishStaffordshire-wood-12" Flow Blue Platter Views Of London-london-grapes-bridge Rare Antique Royal Doulton 'babes In The Woods' Artist Signed Plaque - Flow BlueAntique Staffordshire Flow Blue 5 1/2" Plate-wood & Son-ships,sea Shells,sea * Antique Flow Blue China Double Egg Cup, Unknown Maker & Pattern, VgcFlow Blue Miniature Toy Gravy & Vege Bowl 1840 Asiatic Bird Staffordshire MeighW.h. Grindley 'florida' Flow Blue Vintage Large 16" PlatterWedgwood Floral Flow Blue Plate 1863.Snowflower Flow Blue Vases & Clock Trio C.1891.Tall, Slender 'ivy' Pattern Flow Blue Pitcher C1900Miniature Toy Flow Blue Pearlware Platter Dimity Dimmick Staffordshire 1840Stunning 9 1/2" Flow Blue Teapot By Davenport - Amoy Pattern Circa 1844Staffordshire Flow Blue Brush Stroke 7 5/8" PlateAntique Ashworth Bros. Flow Blue Gilded Trim 9 1/8" 1862-1890??W.h.grindley Melbourne Flow Blue Platter C.1900.Flow Blue Blue Onion Rolling PinAntique Flow Blue Alcock Scinde Teapot No Lid RareRosenthal Studio Line 1961 Bjorn Wiinblad Flow Blue Lady Floral Vase 7" VaseVintage Flow Blue Flowered Tea Pot Beautiful Yellow Pink Fine China Oriental Flow Blue Celery Dish Tray By Warwick, Beautiful Chintz & Large Petunias? GoldAntique Flow Blue Johnson Bros Claremont Petite Tea Cup & Saucer Set 20thc SweetRare Antique Wedgwood Flow Blue Transferware 9" Fish PlateAntique Flow Blue And Black Porcelain, 3 Pieces Creamer,sugar, PlatePorcelain Flow Blue Onion Pattern Miniature Creamer Pitcher 19th C MeissenBeautiful Early Flow Blue Creamer - Samuel Alcock? C1844Gaudy Flow Wagon Wheel Childs Trio C1875 Allerton Staffordshire Flow BlueAntique Flow Blue Small 6" Dish - T.j.&j Mayer - Oregon Pattern - Circa 18451890's Lonsdale Flow Blue Scalloped Edge 9" Dinner Plate By Ridgway EnglandVtg Miniature Artisan Flow Blue Stoneware Dollhouse Child Toy Serving Bowl&doilyPetrus & Regout Stick & Spatter Flow Blue SaucerFlow Blue Oriental Style Cream PitcherJohnson Brothers Normandy Flow Blue Gravy Boat W/ Attached Underplate 1 Of 2Antique Flow Blue Pitcher-grindley Staffordshire Marguerite Daisy LovelyAntique Flow Blue Vase / Urn Stand Or Plinth Crazing And Cracked 6"x6"x1" AsianFormosa Ironstone Flow Blue 8-5/8" Plate, Circa 1843-mid-1850s, T.j.j. MayerStaffordshire Flow Blue Brush Stroke Saucer1890's Lonsdale Flow Blue Scalloped Edge 8" Dessert Plate By Ridgway EnglandLovely Rare Antique Flow Blue And Orange Ground VaseRoyal Doulton Flow Blue Madras Pattern Punch Cup Or Posset CupStaffordshire Flow Blue Covered Soap Dish Rose & Lily By DavenportW Adams English Ironstone Flow Blue Deep Retangular Serving DishVintage Flow Blue Transfer, Transferware Ironstone Ladle For Tureen-nice!Flow Blue Wedgwood 9" Dinner Plate Pearl Stone Ware CaliforniaFlow Blue Sugar Bowl LidAntique Art Nouveau Royal Staffordshire Burslem Butter Serving Dish Flow BlueSet Of 5 Antique Flow Blue Cups And Saucers - German Crown & Shield MarkStaffordshire Flow Blue Covered Razor Dish Rose & Lily By DavenportAntique Flow Blue Covered Delft Jar"tilly"c1880's Panoramic View Marked Germany Antique Flow Blue Souvenir Plate Of New York Marked "england"Antique Flow Blue - 10" Plate , "devon" Made By Alfred Meakin, C. 19075 Fruit/pudding Dishes, Flow-blue Glenmore, Gridley & Co, England, 1914-1925Miniature Child's Toy Flow Blue Soup Tureen Style Serving Piece Children 9" Waldorf Pattern Flow Blue Plate By New Wharf Pottery10" Waldorf Pattern Flow Blue Plate By New Wharf PotteryAntique 19th C Delft Porcelain Flow Blue Sailboatsmall Tray Glass Salt & Pepper Johnson Brothers Normandy Flow Blue 8" Relish Tray Set LiquidationConway 8" Semi Porcelain Flow Blue Bowl, Made In England.Rare Vintage Lrg Delft Flow Blue Creamer Syrup Pitcher Rosenthal? 5 1/2"Vintage W. Adams Flow Blue 10" Platter

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

At Home: Small touches can create homey farmhouse feel
The Daily News Journal, September 26th

Bell says one of the most popular dish designs is known as “Blue Willow” or “Flow Blue,” because the blue ink bled into the white background slightly. Heavier, restaurant plates and mugs also fit into this style. Other popular choices for a farmhouse...Read more

A magical history tour
Biddeford Journal Tribune, September 26th

Below: The dining room of the Edmund E. Goodwin house in Springvale sports reproduction Victorian wall paper and a dining table set with white linen and period flow blue place settngs. SPRINGVALE — The dining table is ready, set with snowy white linen...Read more

London shop a favourite of many artists
Waterloo Record, September 19th

It's from the first period of British "flow blue" production, a style resulting from a happy accident where the blue dye bled resulting in a publicly favourable colouration. It was made in great quantities for export to North America from 1840 to 1860...Read more

Fall Catalogued Auction of Antiques, 20th Century Design, Fine & Decorative ...
Maine Antique Digest, September 11th

Featuring a large and important private collection of more than 500 pieces of R. S. Prussia and related china including many rare portrait and scenic examples; large selection of other ceramics including collections of Chintz, flow blue, and Meissen...Read more

Mapping lava flows in Iceland
Phys.Org, September 10th

An aerial photo shows the edge of the Holuhraun lava flow (blue line), where the lava went over a combination of sand and bedrock. Two types of lava appear on either side of the red line: smooth pahoehoe on the right and rubbly a'a on the left...Read more

Works by Guillermo Heiter, Ben Benn, Picasso, Miro, Giacometti will be sold ...
ArtfixDaily, September 7th

Also sold will be taxidermy birds, a weathervane, railroad lanterns, inkwells, Flow Blue and other ironstone, a pate-sur-pate collection, Capodimonte, primitive tools, a tooled leather saddle, a drop-front desk, a Victorian carved sofa, marble-top...Read more

Bowling Green hosts Flow Blue club convention
Bowling Green Daily News, July 16th

The event will open to the general public at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with vendors selling Flow Blue dishware. Membership to the FBICC is $45 per year and may be obtained at the convention center or at flowblue.org, where payments can be made with PayPal or ...Read more

Blue flow has fallen out of fashion
azcentral.com, May 12th

Question:I purchased about a dozen pieces of flow blue in the Normandy pattern during the 1980s. Because the pieces I have are at least a century old and in excellent shape, I assumed they would also be easy to sell. I was wrong. I am unable to find a...Read more