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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19th C Staffordshire Flow Blue Platter "shanghae" Design Jacob Furnival C1850Antique Shanghae Flow Blue Ironstone China Platter Jacob Furnival 16.5" C1850Vintage 1800's Flow Blue Egg Cup....perfect CondionLot Of 6 Antique Formosa Flow Blue Handleless Cups19thc Flow Blue Clews Staffordshire Plate-fonthill Abbey Wiltshire EnglandRare Royal Doulton Childrens Ware Vase Flow Blue Series Babe In Woods Antique NrLot Of 20 Pieces Antique Flow Blue Dishes Nonparel Tonquin Holland Alaska Et AlFlow Blue Sugar Bowl With Lid Middleport Pottery England Flower Handle AntiqueAntique Victorian Edge Malkin & Co Flow Blue Covered Cheese Dish W/ Gold AccentEarly Childs Toy Miniature Flow Blue Davenport? Twin Handled Serving Plate 1840 Antique Flow Blue Carlton Burslem F & Sons Soup Tureen English China Kitchen Circa 1830 Staffordshire Blue Transfer Flow Blue America IndependenceAntique Handless Flow Blue Cup & Deep Saucer1849 Staffordshire Sauce Tureen Historical Flow Blue, Small SizeAntique Thomas Forester Phoenix Ware Flow Blue & Gold VaseAntique Upper Hanley Pottery Crawford Cooking Ranges Flow Blue PitcherA Pair Of Early Child's (m) Toy Miniature Flow Blue Plates - Davenport? C1840Antique Vtg 10" Myotts England Flow Blue Plate Crumlin Dinner Scalloped RimAntique Warwick China Pitcher Flow Blue Pansy Pattern Gold Trim Beautiful ShapeThomas Forester Foresters Flowers Flow Blue Jardinere Stand.Flow Blue Gravy Boat Middleport Pottery England 4 Inches Tall "nonpareil"Two Childrens Toy Miniature Flow Blue Plates (m) + (s) - Davenport? C1840Antique Wheeling Pottery Labelle Flow Blue Victorian Cracker Jar Large Early England Ironstone Pottery Flow Blue Platter Antique Turkey PlatterFlow Blue China - 4 Butter Plates PatsAntique Flow Blue Khan Bisto England Soup Tureen W/spoon Underplate KitchenAntique Vtg 7.5" Myotts England Flow Blue Bowl Crumlin Scalloped RimVintage Flow Blue Plates Lot Of 2 Beautiful Flow Blue, Two Butter Pats In The Florida PatternEarly Childs Toy Miniature Flow Blue 'davenport'? Butter Boat C1840Beautiful Johnson Brothers 16" Platter - Flow Blue - Georgia PatternW.h.grindley Florida 2 Flow Blue Plates C.1891.Flow Blue Platter Dainty MaddockVintage Russian Flow Blue Porcelain Cup/mug & Saucer Lomonosov Ussr MintAntique / Vintage Flow Blue Porcelain Scent Bottle With Flowers & GoldJohnson Brothers Flow Blue Dorothy Cup And Saucer Lot Of 2Beautiful Antique Flow Blue Plate-victoria Austria-hunt Scene-excellent!Flow Blue Cup And Saucer In The Touraine Pattern Wheeling Potteries C. 1879-1910 Labelle 7" Flow Blue Pitcher Very GoodRidgway Flow Blue Lugano Semi Porcelain Covered CasseroleVintage Stanley Pottery Co. "touraine" Flow Blue Gravy Boat Petrus Regout Flow Blue Brush Stroke Maastricht Set Holland 5 Plates 4cups ChinaAntique 1895 Flow Blue Plate 10" F B Grindley - Marie England No 250387Vntg Franconia Notch Nh Flow Blue Trivet Tile Jonroth England Old Man MountainsAntique W. H. Grindley Flow Blue China Saucer Plate Florida Pattern 6 InchAntique -flow Blue Small Plate Or Saucer Plate-wowRoyal Doulton Flow Blue Biscuit Jar- BeautifulAntique Set Of 4 Flow Blue Canisters Porcelain Romania Alba Iulia Very Nice !!!5 Staffordshire Ridgways Flow Blue Chiswick Dinner Plates 10" C18801840 Antique Flow Blue Pitcher Marino George Phillips England Vhtf!!!Antique New Wharf Waldorf Flow Blue 9" Plate England Pottery, Great ConditionPorcelain China Germany Hohenzollern Dish Bowl Flow Blue Floral 10"6 Staffordshire Ridgways Flow Blue Chiswick Berry Bowls C1880W. H. Grindley Flow Blue "syrian" Water Pitcher 19thc Doulton Burslem Flow Blue & Gilt Toothbrush Vase / HolderAntique Flow Blue PitcherFlow Blue Butter Pat **argyle** By W.h.grindley, England, Ca. 1896 Henry Alcock Touraine Flow Blue Lunchen 6 5/8" Plate,gold Ruffled EdgeAntique W. H. Grindley "countess" Flow Blue Butter Pat PlateFlow Blue Cup And Saucer Johnson Bros. Georgia Pattern

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

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

Provenance adds to Labrador bookends' value
Waterloo 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 Foundation
fox4kc.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, coins
Tribune-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 rummaging
Austin 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 – 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

Historic gems at San Jose yard sale
San Jose Mercury News, October 5th

"This probably is the most special, collectible item on this table," Ornellas said, picking up a Flow Blue porcelain rolling pin. Her asking price: $22. "It's really just too good to use." Ripped but rare. One of relatively few shoppers, Rick Krisologo...Read more

Tyler may be getting a new covered venue for weddings and events
Tyler 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