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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Antiques: A practical giftOttawa 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 saleNewsOK.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 BoehlkeMyhorrynews, 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 Foundationfox4kc.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 TodayTheStreet.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 designKnoxville 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 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 collectorsKnoxville 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