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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Recent News: Flow Blue China
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Sausage and shopping go hand in hand in New BraunfelsHouston Chronicle, October 24th
At La Belle Vie, fine antiques from Belgium and France are interspersed with Italian note cards, cozy throws and wraps and Flow Blue china. "We do anything for the home," Corzine says. "Design, custom furniture, re-upholstery, drapes, bedding. We also ...Read more
Provenance adds to Labrador bookends' valueWaterloo Record, October 24th
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
City to sell blue fountain water to benefit City of Fountains Foundationfox4kc.com, October 21st
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blue water from Kansas City's best-known and most-photographed fountain will be scooped into commemorative bottles commemorate the Royals' winning season. water. Residents and tourists may purchase the bottles for $5 each...Read more
Upcoming Western Pa. auctions include paintings, pottery, coinsTribune-Review, October 19th
The large selection of country primitives and other folksy pieces includes flow blue earthenware, Depression glass, vintage toys and other “down-home” goods. On Oct. 26, Pletcher returns to Cheswick and the Harmar House for a cataloged auction with a ...Read more
Estate Sale Roundup: October 17-19: The weather is perfect for rummagingAustin Chronicle, October 17th
Tole tray, stovetop coffee/espresso makers, Flow-Blue pitcher, retro service tray, tall stem crystal cordials, Amana refrigerator, Sunflower Pyrex, classic dining room chairs, Heywood Wakefield-style eight-drawer chest; 1930's solid maple twin bed...Read more
Terence Blanchard – Flow – Blue Note – vinylAudiophile Audition, October 12th
Terence Blanchard is an important part of the new jazz resurgence. After stints with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and Art Blakey Jazz Messengers, he became an in demand sideman and pursued a successful career as band leader. Along the way, he ...Read more
Tyler may be getting a new covered venue for weddings and eventsTyler Morning Telegraph, October 1st
They include a medical beaker, crystal candelabra, leather hatbox, Royal Doulton flow blue vase and chamber pot. Ms. Heaton said the candelabra, which is more than 100 years old, is likely one of the biggest recent discoveries. When she found it more...Read more
Ironstone Dish Is more than 170 YearsNewsOK.com, September 21st
It can be recognized by the blue gray transfer print design of a vase in the center that is surrounded by a Greek key pattern and also small flowers. The "Nankin Jar" pattern was used by several other potteries and available in Flow Blue and Mulberry ware...Read more