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    

Antique Royal Coberg Ware Rs Germany Flow Blue Art Nouveau Celery Dish Bowl19th C Johnson Bros Flow Blue Chamber Pot & Bowl Vienna England Royal Porcelain Vintage Antique Labelle Flow Blue China Creamer Pitcher Gold Trim Shell MarkedVintage Antique Labelle ? Flow Blue China Sugar Bowl Gold Trim Shell Antique Scinde Flow Blue 12 Panelled Bowl 5 3/4" By 3 1/2"Vintage Johnson Bros Flow Blue Argyle Pattern 14" Platter18 Piece Part Lahore Flow Blue Dinner SetSmall W. H. Grindley Flow Blue Pitcher England With ChipsStaffordshire Flow Blue Scinde Sauce Tureen BaseLarge Victorian Rose Decorated Flow Blue Jug Pitcher Gilded 8.75" StaffordshireLarge Victorian Floral Flow Blue Jug Pitcher Gilded 9" Staffordshire # 2Antique Primitive Flow Blue & White Spongeware Porcelain Figural Cow Creamer NrLarge Victorian Floral Flow Blue Jug Pitcher Gilded 8.25" Staffordshire # 1Old Flow Blue White Ink Dip Pen Ornate Gold Ferrule B - 6 NibVintage Occupied Japan Childrens Dishes Blue Willow Flow Blue 4 PiecesVintage Antique Labelle Flow Blue China Berry Bowls Gold Trim Shell Set Of 2Vintage Royal Danube 1886 Demitasse Tea Cup Saucer Sets Flow Blue White 4Barker & Kent Cairo Flow Blue Tureen & Base Dish.Staffordshire Embossed Flow Blue Cake Plate Trilby By Wood & Son19th Cnty Flow Blue & Pink Roses Covered Cheese Dish PerfectGrindley Shanghi 10 Inch Flow Blue Platter. Mark Is From 1914-1925Touraine Flow Blue Teapot By Alcock Ridgway,cow Transfer Flow Blue Plate;england;urn,bee Hive Mark 1891;dec.borderNew Wharf Pottery Sydney Flow Blue Cup And SaucerWedgwood Flow Blue Plate Evangeline Down The Long Street She PassedVtg Antique Wheeler Pottery Le Belle Flow Blue Retangle Formal Serving Bowl GoldFlow Blue Egg Cup -dainty Pattern, Mint. Gold BandsAntique Vintage Flow Blue China Candy DishFlow Blue Conway 5 3/4" Dish Berry Bowl? New Wharf Pottery Antique W.h. Grindley England Flow Blue Aldine Creamer Sauce Boat Antique 1891Staffordshire Flow Blue Coburg 6 1/2" Waste Bowl Ca 1860Vintage W&e Corn Porcelaine Royale England Flow Blue Tea Cup & Saucer Dish Flow Blue Egg Cup -dainty Pattern, N Mint. Edward Challinor C. 1850's Lozere Flow Blue Covered Serving DishFlow Blue Butter Pat In Wentworth Pattern By J&g MeakinVintage Antique Flow Blue Victorian Ornate Gold Trim Signed 60 Bone Trinket DishMartha Washington Chain Of States Flow Blue Plate With Gold Accents (3)Flow Blue Conway 6" Dish Saucer? New Wharf Pottery Antique Hall Quadraped Rare 1814-1822 English Cobalt Flow Blue Plate Antique Flow Blue Pitcher,nonpareil Pattern, Middleport Pottery England Antique Burgess & Leigh Middleport Flow Blue Nonpareil Covered Tureen Dish4 Antique Adams Flow Blue Rimmed Soup Plates Fairy Villa PatternFlow Blue Egg Cup -dainty Pattern, N Mint. Pretty Flow Blue CreamerOrg Boxed 1950s Japan Flow Blue Willow Toy China Tea Service Set Hand Decorated Antique Ironstone Flow Blue Gaudy Welsh Dutch Imari Transfer Ware Serving BowlVintage Flow Blue Yedo Pattern Serving Bowl!!!Lot 1914-1925 W H Grindley China The Imperial Clover Flow Blue EnglandVictorian Era Flow Blue VesselLarge John Maddock Royal Vitreous Oakland Flow Blue Hotel Ware Ironstone PitcherMeissen Flow Blue Onion Danube Pin Trinket Candle Holder Dish Vanity AccessoryJohn Maddock And Sons Flow Blue Dainty Covered Sugar BowlAntique Staffordshire Style Child's Cup Flow Blue Circa 1800's EraAntique Flow Blue Hand Painted Porcelain ShoeExcellent New Wharf Pottery Sydney Flow Blue Plate Flow Blue Tea Cup Aldine

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

Jean McClelland: Relief molded pitchers offers lots of variety for collectors
Huntington Herald Dispatch, March 28th

If one were to perhaps pick up a pitcher that is a crossover such as a flow blue molded pitcher the value would be increased because it would appeal to two groups of collectors. Those who collect flow blue and those who collect molded pitchers would be ...Read more

Outdoor notebook
Muskogee Daily Phoenix, March 26th

White bass are moving up the creeks to spawn. Trolling and bank fishing the Big Sans Bois Creek has been producing good stringers of white bass as long as there is good water flow. Blue and channel catfish good on live shad at 4 ft. along flats and the...Read more

Weekly Fishing Report
NewsOK.com, March 25th

White bass are moving up the creeks to spawn. Trolling and bank fishing the Big Sans Bois Creek has been producing good stringers of white bass as long as there is good water flow. Blue and channel catfish good on live shad at 4 ft. along flats and the...Read more

Garth's Eclectic Auction Comes Alive with a Big Top Vibe
ArtfixDaily, March 19th

On Friday, April 3rd, Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers will host their spring Eclectic auction where 900 items will be offered including: postcards, lighting, primitive furniture, Victorian, painted chairs, early chests, a Brunswick 9 foot pool table...Read more

Flow fetes with food
Jamaica Gleaner (subscription), March 18th

That meant small portions, with LED lit trays, incorporating the Flow blue into the plating as well. The disguise at the beginning was to have persons thinking that they were at a regular cocktail event, introducing a new item at intervals, building...Read more

A Classy and Complete Guide to Yard Sales
New Hampshire Magazine, March 11th

I saw a flow blue pitcher at a yard sale selling for 25 cents! I thought I had really scored, but then I saw the chip. Instead of big bucks, It's just worth $30. Still better than 25 cents. Another time I found an antique cheese basket. I bought it for...Read more

Zonta Club of Longview sells antiques, gives away prom dresses
Longview News-Journal, March 8th

"It's the best three-day show we do," said Doy Knightstep, who with his brother, James, have brought their Flow Blue, Staffordshire and Majolica china from their Lewisville base to Zonta shows for more than a dozen years. "It's a great show," he continued...Read more

Joe Rosson: 'Flow Blue' plates no longer red-hot with collectors
Knoxnews, 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