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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Scrap Album

The Scrap Album

Malcolm Warrington’s The Scrap Album is a handsomely organized site, as you’d expect from an articulate champio… [read review or visit site]

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Malcolm Roebuck's tribute to the ornate silk picture bookmarks and postcards ('Stevengraphs') produced by Thomas St… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Ironstone Flow Blue Strawberries Large Platter Elsmore Forster Gaudy Welsh 1850Staffordshire Flow Blue Coburg Serving PlatterRare Royal Doulton Burslem Flow Blue Watteau Chocolate Or Coffee Set Great CondGaudy Welsh Ironstone Flow Blue Pearlware Glaze Name Mug Staffordshire Antique2 Royal Copenhagen Flow Blue Butter Pat Salt Dish Blue Onion? Denmark Large Antique Probably 1800's Flow Blue Large Platter With Turkey SceneFlow Blue Tureen Ridgway Blue Willow Semi China No Reserve' Canton' Flow Blue Well In Tree 21" PlatterAntique Doulton Flow Blue Turkey Dinner Plate #2Carlton Ware Flow Blue Floral Syrup Jug C. 1894.Antique Doulton Flow Blue Turkey Dinner Plate #1Doulton Burslem Flow Blue Stratford Church Large Hand Done VaseVtg Whitestone Ware Staffordshire Victorian Flow Blue Shaving Scuttle Mug +brushAntique 19c Wheeling Flow Blue Monumental Lion Head Pottery Jardiniere PlanterPolychrome Flow Blue Serving PlatterAntique Meissen Flow Blue Onion Pattern Pair Egg Cups Crossed Sword MarkAntique Mintons Oriental Pattern Flow Blue Oyster PlateNice Antique Flow Blue Butter Pat In The "ovando" Pattern / Alfred Meakin Antique Flow Blue With Gold Argyle Plates W.h. Grindley England Unused Lot Of 12Ironstone Flow Blue TeapotGaudy Welch/dutch Ironstone Coffeepot, Circa 1840,flow BlueAntique Flow Blue 8" Plate Conway New Wharf Pottery 1878-98 NiceNice Lot Of Twelve Antique Flow Blue Butter Pats In The "touraine" PatternAntique Alfred Meakin Gravy Boat W Under Plate Raleigh Flow Blue Gold ScrollsFlow Blue Gravy Boat8.5" Flow Blue Plate, Pattern Unknown, John Wedge Wood England, Circa 1841-1860Gorgeous Antique Ridgway "gainsborough" Rimmed Soup Bowl / Flow Blue / # 8Samuel Alcock Genoa Flow Blue Dish C. 1850.5 Rare Petrus Regout Flow Blue Soup Bowl Flat Rimmed 10" Oriental Motif 19th C Gladys New Wharf Pottery England Flow Blue And White Platter Circa 1891Vintage W. H. Grindley Flow Blue Portman 10" Vegetable Server W/lid Floral RosesAntique Flow Blue Plate 10 1/2" W. Adams & Co. Fairy Villas EnglandBeautiful Flow Blue Marie By Grindley 8 7/8" PlateFlow Blue 9" Plate With Gold Trim And Bluebell Flowers 1900 Circa8 K & G Luneville France Keller Guerin Flow Blue 8" PlatesWaldorf Flow Blue Set Of (4) 9" Dinner PlatesMulberry Polychrome Flow Blue Ironstone Covered Vegetable (cotton Plant)Antique Flow Blue China 8 3/4" Plate-"the Temple" Pattern - P.w. & CoAntique Flow Blue Semi-porcelain 9" Plate € Adams China Dinnerware Flow Blue Kyber Pattern Salad Plate 7 1/4 InchesAntique Staffordshire Flow Blue Transferware Plate England 9"Nice Pair Antique Flow Blue Butter Pats In An Unknown Pattern Antique Holland Johnson Bros England Flow Blue Ware Onion Saucer DishAntique Flow Blue Saucer - Attea Picture Of Dog MarkAntique Johnson Bros Tureen Covered Flow Blue White Gold Trim Made In EnglandAntique Paneled Flow Blue Handless Cup & Saucer- Ning Po-1840's Oriental PatternVictoria Ware Oil And Vinegar Bottles Flow Blue19c Staffordshire Bisto Mansfield Flow Blue Turkey Platter 18" C1840Antique Rowland&marsellus Flow Blue Rolled Rim Souvenir Plate,philadelphia,paAntique Staffordshire Hand Painted Flow Blue Vase 2 Beautiful Flow Blue 9 1/4" Plates Prussia By Libertas C-1889Vintage Flow Blue Middleport Potteries 9 3/4 Inch Cabinet PlateGerman Flow Blue Vegetable Tureen Bottom / Asian Lappets And Geometric DesignCopeland Spodes Tower Gadroon Floral Scallop Flow Blue England Teacup & SaucerAntique Johnson Bros Flow Blue Cup & Saucer Regent Pattern Gilding EnglandVintage F & Sons Devon Burslem England Flow Blue Casserole Dish9" Flow Blue Plate, Fairy Villas Pattern, William Adams And Co. Circa Late 1800sAnique Blue Willow Flow Blue Divided Grill Plate Made In England Design # 712950Antique English W E Corn Flow Blue Saucer 1900's Ayr Pattern Porcelaine Royale8 K & G Luneville France Keller Guerin Flow Blue 8" Plates

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

Antiques: A practical gift
Ottawa Citizen, December 10th

This is a fine example of the late period of “flow blue,” an intentional running of the blue colour that was in fashion during this time. The rose pattern is based on a climbing tea rose often called the “Old Glory Rose,” initially bred by Pierre...Read more

Plates made in Staffordshire bought at garage sale
NewsOK.com, November 30th

Q: I have enclosed the mark that is on the back of six Flow Blue luncheon plates that I bought over 40 years ago from an antiques shop. Each dish is decorated with a border of roses against a white background. They are in perfect condition. What can...Read more

Everything has its purpose in Carolina Forest home of Paul and Bonnie Boehlke
Myhorrynews, November 24th

Bonnie Boehlke has a knack for knowing where to put things – whether it's a pair of Victorian-looking dolls in the corner of a lavender-colored guest room, or a bouquet of hydrangea in her mother's flow blue pitcher on the kitchen counter. In the...Read more

City to sell blue fountain water to benefit City of Fountains Foundation
fox4kc.com, October 21st

in Kansas City are in need of critical repair. The blue water bottle sale will start on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. at Plaza Customer Service located at 4750 Broadway Blvd. The city says eight major KC fountains will flow blue throughout the...Read more

Why Blue Nile (NILE) Stock Is Falling Today
TheStreet.com, July 22nd

Despite an increase in cash flow, BLUE NILE INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 15.47%. The gross profit margin for BLUE NILE INC is rather low; currently it is at 19.33%. Regardless of NILE's low profit...Read more

Joe Rosson: Flow blue patterns form a slight blue haze around design
Knoxville News Sentinel, August 26th

Q: Enclosed are pictures of china that belonged to my father's aunt. I don't have the full set, but I do have several pieces, including a large platter and a serving bowl with lid. The markings have "Anita" and "England" stamped on them, but I cannot...Read more

Flow Blue: A celebrated ceramic
Cincinnati.com, November 20th

Circa 1870, this 26-inch Flow Blue turkey platter was made by Copeland. It was sold by Cowan's Auctions in November 2004 for $862.50. As a general rule, the larger the size of a platter, the greater its value. When buying Flow Blue, look for examples...Read more

Joe Rosson: 'Flow Blue' plates no longer red-hot with collectors
Knoxville News Sentinel, August 3rd

It was made in England by Johnson Brothers and is in their "Kenworth Flow Blue" pattern. I have found two serving pieces priced at $199.95 each, but not the value of the plate. Can you help? Sincerely,L.W.Dear L.W.:I think I can, but the news is not good...Read more