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 1800s Stoneware Flow Blue Salt Glazed 3 Gallon Crock - Binghamton Ny*rare* Alcock Flow Blue Covered Dish In The Scinde Pattern Super Rare Flow Blue 'chinese Bells' Childs Toy Sauce Tureen/plate/ladle C1840 Flow Blue Cake Plate - Circa 1870Antique Pastorial Sheep A Stevenson Staffordshire Flow Blue Cup PlateAntique Scenic Boat On River Historical Flow Blue Cup Plate Butter PatAntique Chinese Pagoda Bird Chusan Clementson Flow Blue Cup Plate IronstoneAntique Floral Border Dark Flow Blue Cup Plate Art NouveauGaudy Ironstone Welsh Flow Blue Cup And Saucer Morning GloryRare Xl Antique Davenport Rhine Transferware Flow Blue Water Jug Pitcher C1840A Rare Flow Blue 'chinese Bells' Childs Toy Miniature Well & Tree Platter C1840 A Rare Flow Blue 'chinese Bells' Childs Toy Miniature Covered Veg Dish C1840 Beautiful Flow Blue Victorian Coffee Pot 1869Antique Flow Blue 9 1/2 Inch Plate Tonquin J. KeathAntique Original Old Sleepy Eye Indian Teepee Pitcher 9" Tall 1 Gallon Flow BlueAntique Romantic Flowers Real Ironstone Dark Flow Blue Cup PlateVery Pretty Pair Of Staffordshire Flow Blue & Gilt Candlesticks C1850 Flow Blue Victorian Buscuit Barrel - Circa 1890Antique Romantic Flow Blue People With Chinese Umbrella CupAntique Flow Blue Platter €Antique Arabesque Chinese Porcelain Mayer Flow Blue Cup Plate StaffordshireVintage Johnson Bros England Flow Blue Willow Set Of 7 Dinner Plates DishesSeville Wood & Son Flow Blue Platter 14''Antique Floral Dark Flow Blue Footed Candy Plate Embossed Design Art NouveauBeautiful Alfred Meakin "kelvin" Flow Blue Dinner/luncheon PlateAntique Flow Blue 8 Inch Plate Grindley Gilt DecorationAntique Flow Blue Johnson Brothers England Normandy PlateLugano Bone Dish Flow Blue C.1910Antique Podemore & Walker Chinese Pagoda Flow Blue Temple Cup & Saucer Pearl Chi1850's Flow Blue Plate - F&m Co. - Cashmere/deer - 8 1/4"Childs Flow Blue Imari Creamer Milk Jug Toy Minton Staffordshire C1840 Flow Blue Cover Cheese KeeperFlow Blue Touraine Set Of Six Nut Dishes Or Nappies Henry Alcook EnglandF&m Flow Blue Plate - Cashmere - Deer Scene - Circa 1850's - 9 1/4"Brooks Pure Flow Blue Running Shoe Size 8.5 Flow Blue W/gold Argyle W. H. Grindley England C.1891 ~~9 Inch PlateAntique Victorian Flow Blue Leaf And Flower Cup Plate StaffordshireAntique Romantic Scenic Flowers Davenport Dark Flow Blue Cup PlateColonial Pottery Blue Transferware Flow Blue? "huron" Pitcher Stoke EnglandOnset, Ma. Flow Blue Rowland & Marsellus Rolled Edge Souvenir Souvenir PlateGorgeous Antique Ridgway "gainsborough" Lidded Tureen / Flow BlueLot 4 Flow Blue Amoy 6 1/4 Inch Dessert Plates Antique DavenportFlow Blue 7 1/2" Salad Bowl Johnson Brothers Kenworth 1900's Flow Blue PitcherRare Copeland Late Spode Flow Blue Turkey Plate Circa 1904 Spode's Tower 9.25"Antique Flow Blue Pitcher "felew" Challinor IronstoneArgyle Flow Blue Cup & Saucer - Grindley EnglandLarge Touraine Jug Or Pitcher Antique Flow Blue Henry Alcock England Stanley Pottery Touraine Covered Sugar Bowl Flow Blue 6 X 8" England19th Century Flow Blue Chusan Clementson 10 1/2" Handled Plate Wh Grindley Flow Blue Oval Platter - Lorne Pattern FbAntique Vintage Copeland Flow Blue Dish (spode's Tower) Gorgeous!Nice Antique Meakin Dinner Plate / Flow Blue Flow Blue Ridgways Chiswick Pattern Serving Dish 9 X 5 Inches With GoldAntique Labelle Flow Blue Victorian Cracker JarAntique Serving Dish Clementson Ironstone Flo BlueFlow Blue Scuttle ( Shaving) Mug 1870-1900Antique Flow Blue Pair Of Vases With Iris DesignFlow Blue Touraine Dinner Plate 10", Stanley Pottery Co. Made In England(2) Flow Blue 3 1/4" Butter Pats Exquisite

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Why is this eBay buyer seeing red over PINK?
Ottawaherald.com, November 14th

It sold for $1,500 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/LaBelle-Flow-Blue-China-Turkey-Platter-and-10-dishes-/131295060147. Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay ...Read more

Marietta postcard album and pin bring in $1300
LancasterOnline, November 2nd

Items .500sold included: a maple bedroom set, $850; a set of flow blue china, $400; a Myerstown coverlet, $375; a set of sterling flatware, $1,300; a Husqvarna tractor, $725; a cherry tall case clock, $380; a softwood corner cupboard, $330; and an oak...Read more

John Sewell's This Old Thing
Windsor Star (blog), October 31st

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

Sausage and shopping go hand in hand in New Braunfels
Houston 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

Terence Blanchard – Flow – Blue Note – vinyl
Audiophile 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

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