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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Weekly Fishing ReportNewsOK.com, March 25th
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 sand bar. Largemouth bass good on jigs and ...Read more
Garth's Eclectic Auction Comes Alive with a Big Top VibeArtfixDaily, 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 foodJamaica 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 SalesNew 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 dressesLongview 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
Once Strict 'Blue Laws' Have Largely FadedHartford Courant, February 25th
Until the 1980s, if you tried buying a pair of blue jeans, a place setting of flow blue china or a blue racer snake in Connecticut on a Sunday, you would likely have found yourself singing the blues. State law kept most stores shuttered. Though many...Read more
Flow Blue: A celebrated ceramicCincinnati.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 collectorsKnoxnews, 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