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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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 $1300LancasterOnline, 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 ThingWindsor 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 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
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
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