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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Antique Ansonia "dresden Extra" Flow Blue Porcelain ClockRare Antique Platter C1870 Copeland Spode Flow Blue!Antique Platter C1900 Burgess & Leigh Flow Blue NonpareilRare Flow Blue Whampoa Ironstone Lg 12 3/4" Water PitcherLarge Antique English Flow Blue Ironstone China Octagonal Covered Vegetable BowlClews 1850 Staffordshire Greenwich Flow Blue Historical Plate No Reserve #1Ridgways Blue Willow Platter Flow Blue Transfer Rectanglular 1885-1890Clews 1850 Staffordshire Greenwich Flow Blue Historical Plate No Reserve #2Large Antique Victorian William Ridgway Loving Cup Mug Flow Blue Transferware~ Lovely Flow Blue Hound Pattern Tea & Saucer English Transferware Flo Blu Dog1880's English Porcelain Flow Blue Dish Plate W/ Spongeware Decoration, ScallopsLabelle Flow Blue Ring-handled Bowl From The Wheeling Pottery Company, Ca. 1900Antique Flow Blue 10" Dinner Plate Grindley Grace Pattern ~ Circa 1897-1900Antique Flow Blue Covered Butter DishAntique Flow Blue Johnson Bros England Andorra Small PitcherAntique Flow Blue Nonpareil Dinner Plate Middleport Pottery EnglandScinde Flow Blue Shell Relish John George Alcock England RarePlattburgh Royal Doulton Historical Dark Flow Blue Plate Commodore MacdonoughChilds Flow Blue Imari Toy Cup & Saucer Tea Set Minton Staffordshire C1840Exquisite Large Ironstone Flow Blue Covered Cheese / Butter DishAntique Labelle Flow Blue & White China Creamer Porcelain Mint Wheeling La BelleRidgway Trio Flow Blue 2 Cups & Saucer 2/8491 C1840(7) Vintage Flow Blue J&g Alcock Pasta Bowls-oriental Stone 10 ½”Gaudy Welsh Plate Seeing Eye Pattern 10 Sides 7.25" Flow Blue - IronstoneAntique Allertons England Flow Blue Willow Transferware Cream Soup BowlFlow Blue Jenny Lind Vegetable Serving Bowl3 Vintage Arabia Finland Landscape Flow Blue Transferware 10 1/4" Dinner PlatesThe Wheeling Potteries Co Semi Poprcelain Flow Blue 10" PlateEarly Vintage Flow Blue Transferware Blue Willow Large Cream Pitcher JapanGrindley Flow Blue China / Lorne Pattern / Fruit Bowl / 1881-1914 / Tiny ChipBlock China Bidasoa Spain Espana Variance Flow Blue White Soup Salad Cereal Bowl2 Pcs Conway New Wharf Pottery Flow Blue Plate & Platter2 Pieces Of Flow Blue Tranferware Bowl And 'davenport' Fluted Cup Antique Staffordshire Mayflower In Plymouth Flow Blue Plate Rowland MarsellusFlow Blue Relish Dish Scinde AlcockEarly Doulton Burslem Norfolk Flow Blue And White Footed BowlLot Of 2 Antique Flow Blue Waldorf Dinner Plate New Wharf England Fan EmbossedAntique Villeroy & Bach Dresden Flow Blue Onion 2 Handled Attached Plate GravyIronstone Sugar Bowl Tureen Flow Blue Transferware C1800's Romantic 24-224 Vintage Arabia Finland Landscape Flow Blue Transferware 6" Dessert Plates2 Royal Doulton Madras Bread & Butter Plates 5 5/8" England Ironstone Flow Blue Flow Blue Commemorative Plate - Plymouth Rock - Made In England - 9Stanley Touraine Flow Blue Dinner Plate #1 - 10" No DamageCharles Meigh Flow Blue Hong Kong Deep Well 9.25" Plate $29.99 No Reserve RareAntique Flow Blue Bowl - Spode's Italian Copeland Pottery England 5 3/4 " Antique Transfer Printed Flow Blue Cup & Saucer.English Souvenir Plate Of Burlington Vermont. Flow Blue Style. Great ConditionGrindley Flow Blue China / Lorne Pattern / Saucer Only / 1881-1914 Set Of 2- Wood & Sons Antique Flow Blue China 7.5" Bowls C. 1895 Pattern VeronaAntique Flow Blue Labelle Irregular Shape 10" TrayFlow Blue Large Soup Tureen Ladel Only Johnson EnglishStanley Touraine Flow Blue Dinner Plate #2 - 10" No Damage Or RepairsStanley Touraine Flow Blue 2 Luncheon Plates 8 3/4" - No DamageGibson Girl Royal Doulton Plate Miss Babbles Brings Morning Paper Flow BlueVintage Flow Blue Victoria Ware Iron Stone Large Covered Cheese Butter Dish Gefle China (sweden) "vinranka-percy " Set Of 3 Flow Blue Cup/saucer SetsWilliams Sonoma Blue & White Floral Porcelain Tea Cup With Lid-flow Blue StyleVintage Flow Blue "acantha" Hanley Luncheon PlateVintage Porcelain Blue & White Flow Blue Teapot Coffee Pot Lid OnlyAntique Flow Blue Bowl

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

The Most Stylish Home Coffee Maker
Men's Journal, January 9th

After that it was like making popcorn on the stove: a bit of temperature control, and a bit of watching, and a minute or so later the coffee began to flow. (Blue Bottle also offers instructions you can follow for a fuss-free brewing experience.) And...Read more

Plates made in Staffordshire bought at garage sale
NewsOK.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

Hoosier Antiques Expo: Oct. 24 – 25
WISH-TV, October 24th

“All our dealers are required to offer only real, high-quality antiques, ” explains Jennell Summers, Hoosier Antiques Exp. Hoosier Antiques Expo: Oct. 24 – 25 in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: $8. For more info: ...Read more

City to sell blue fountain water to benefit City of Fountains Foundation
fox4kc.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 Today
TheStreet.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 design
Knoxville 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 ceramic
Cincinnati.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 collectors
Knoxville 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