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]

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]

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]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Flow Blue Sauce Tureen With Under PlateVtg Flow Blue Oriental Platter 21x17" Tropical Trees Flowers Birds Rare ChusanFlow Blue Chen 16" PlatterAntique Flow Blue Floral Teapot Creamer Sugar Ceramic English 1843Vintage Antique Dark Flow Blue Tj & J Mayer Formosa PlatterLa Belle Flow Blue China Plate Deep Blue Color W/ Gold Etching VintageRoyal Copenhagen Flow Blue Gravy DishΩ Lululemon New 4 In The Flow Blue Compression Seamless Crop Capri Legging PantFlow Blue Egg Cups, Johnson Brothers, England, Pattern "normandy" - Lot Of 2Two Pairs Flow Blue Cups & Saucers Manilla Ptn Podmore, Walker & Co C. 1800s "1"T. J. & J. Mayer Cobalt Arabesque Platter Longport 1843-1855 Flow Flo BlueFlow Blue Egg Cups, Johnson Brothers, England, Pattern "normandy" - Lot Of 3Childs Gaudy Flow Blue Flowers Toy Dinner Soup Plate Minton Staffordshire C1840Flow Blue Johnson Brothers, Cream Soup Bowls Pattern "normandy" Rare - Lot Of 6Two Pairs Flow Blue Cups & Saucers Manilla Ptn Podmore, Walker & Co C. 1800s "2"Two Pairs Flow Blue Cups & Saucers Shanghae Ptn Jacob Furnival & Co C. 1870 Very Nice Antique Staffordshire Real Gaudy Ironstone Decorated Flow Blue PlatterGrace By W.h. Grindley Antique Flow Blue Set 2 Oval Small Serving Bowls 6" Flow Blue Cup & Saucer Shell Pattern, E. Challinor Co. England Circa 1842-1867 Flow Blue Cup & Saucer Set Pelew Pattern, E. Challinor Co. England Circa 1840 Antique Dark Flow Blue & White 9 3/4" Bowl Temple Pattern Floral Flow Blue Jug. Flow Blue Cup & Saucer (the) Temple Cup And Oregon Saucer England Flow Blue Cup & Saucers James Edwards, England Circa 1845 Resembles PekinNew Wharf Pottery " Waldorf " 10" Plate Flow Blue 1800's2 Ant. New Wharf Pottery Flow Blue Soup Bowls 9" Waldorf England 1878-1894Vintage Manilla Flow Blue Ironstone Plate And Saucer Ca. 1850'sAntique Flow Blue Ironstone Dish Platter Duchess Pattern Grindley 1800's 14"x10"Vintage Wm. Adams Flow Blue Kyber 7 1/4 By 10-inch Ironstone Platter/sweet Meat Wedgwood Flow Blue 14 1/4" Round Serving Platter " Chinese " Pattern AntiqueLarge Mercer Trenton New Jersey Paisley Flow Blue China Platter 16 1/2" Antique19thc Flow Blue Gaudy Welsh Victoria Princess Royal Wedding Hydra Jug1906 "daughters Of The American Revolution" 16th Anniversary Flow Blue Plate Dar Henry Alcock England Touraine Flow Blue 5 Cups And Saucers Lot 10 Flow Blue Scinde Pattern Cup & Saucer J. & G. Alcock Co., England C. 1839-1846 Three Flow Blue Handleless Cups Shanghae Pattern Jacob Furnival & Co C. 1845-70 Flow Blue Marriage Cup & Saucer, Pelew Saucer, E. Challinor Co. Circa 1840s Two Flow Blue Saucers J. & G. Alcock Co., Staffordshire England C. 1839-1846 Antique Flow Blue Charger W/ Gold Accents L&s Carlsbad, Austria. Adderley English 19th C. New Lily Flow Blue Vase With Gold Decoration #2696 Antique Royal Worcester Boston Bouillons Cup & Saucer 12 Piece Lot Flow BlueMarechal Neil Flow Blue Soup Tureen By GrindleyAntique Flow Blue Small Tureen, Cover Underplate" Elsa " Sturgis Laurence Flow Blue Portrait Plate Ruffled Edge Signed 1894Antique Henry Alcock Flow Blue Touraine Tea Cup & And Saucer Set Made In EnglandNice Flow Blue Pitcher/creamer - Pattern & Maker UnknownFlow Blue Cup And Saucer Leipsic Pattern J. Clementson & Co Circa 1840-1864 Ford & Sons " Douglas " Flow Blue Large Rimmed Bowl Antique Rare Wedgwood Flow Blue Creamer With Gold Gilding, Roma Pattern, 1909 Grindley " Lorne " Flow Blue Soup Bowl Embossed Trim 1891 -1914Antique C. 1892 Flow Blue W. H. Grindley "derby" Sauce Tureen Set 9.5" Antique Japanese Meiji Imari Large Center Bowl Flow Blue PorcelainDunbarton Flow Blue 11 1/2" Covered Vegetable Dish By New Wharf PotteryAntique Flo Blue Souvenir China Santa Rosa Ca Luther Burbank Depot Overton HotelImproved Stone China "hong Kong" Flow Blue Plates-no Res!!Brush Stroke-flow Blue "chrysanthemum" Copper Luster-6 3/4 Dessert Plate-nice2 Antique Flow Blue Miniature Bowls English Earthenware 1842-1867 & Rural Eng.Grindley " Duchess " Flow Blue Rimmed Soup Bowl Gold Trim 1891New Wharf Pottery " Conway " 9" Plate Flow Blue 1800'sVintage Flow Blue W E Corn Dresden Creamer Sm Pitcher England Porcelain