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 English Trio By Samuel Radford, Flow Blue Pattern Glorious ConditionAntique Flow Blue Meat Platter Waldorf New Wharf Pottery England 10 3/4"x9"C.1900 Figural Billy Goat Ram Delft Flow-blue Creamer Jug German Dutch Ges GeschLarge J Heath Tonquin Flow Blue Transferware 9 3/4" Octagonal Plate ExcellentProvincetown, Massachusetts Souvenir Plate Flow Blue Rowland & Marsellus Flow Blue J. & G. Meakin Wentworth 6- Flat Rimmed Soup Bowls1840-1870 Flow Blue Shanghae J Furnival & Co, Jf & Co, Ironstone, 10 1/2" PlateMinton. Herbert & Co. Gaudy Flow Blue Plate 1846.Antique Early 19th-century Clews Dark Flow Blue Don Quixote Pottery Bowl 9" RareWedgwood Floral Flow Blue Plate 1863.Antique Buffalo Pottery Semi-vitreous Flow Blue Willow 9" Square Salad Bowl 1909Antique China Flow Blue And Yellow Dinner PlateEarly Mint Condition Johnson Brothers Holland Flow Blue 12.5 " Serving PlatterAntique Royal Doulton Flow Blue Bouillon Cup " Madras " PatternPair Of Antique Flow Blue Butter PatsAntique French Fil De Fer Wire Art Basket Flo Blue Porcelain Dish Folk Art ~1880Antique Victorian Hand Painted Figural Scene Porcelain Flow Blue JardiniereAntique Ford & Sons Flow Blue *devon* Tureen.Flow Blue Mint Pitcher, Pattern, "colonial", J&c MeakinWedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Serving Oval Platter 10 3/4" Flow BlueLarge Antique Grindley Lorne Flow Blue 16" Platter~lot #3! Nr!Vintage Enoch Wedgwood Flow Blue / White Countryside Dishes Svc For 12 + ServingW. H. Grindley Celtic Flow Blue Ironstone Plates, 5 7/8” Dia, Set Of 4, Reg 1897Beautiful Flow Blue Candy / Nut / Serving Dish W Floral Design & Scalloped Edge Antique 1890s Flow Blue Salad Dessert Plate W Adams England Kyber VintageRobert Kaufman Tea Time Cats Flow Blue China Diane Ferchel 70" X 44"8 Clean 1890 Henry Alcock Flow Blue Touraine 8 Inch Plates Good Gold / Very NiceAntique Imperial China 1 Qt. Flow Blue Milk Pitcher Jug #13Wedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Oval 2handle Celery Dish 9" Flow Blue Vintage Flow Blue Butter Pat 3 1/4" Diameter - UnmarkedScranton Pennsylvania Plate Flow Blue Rowland & Marsellus Rolled Edge SouvenirWedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Flat Cream Soup & Saucer Flow BlueFlow Blue "holland" Pattern Johnson Bros. Berry DishFlow Blue Butter Pat With Gold On Rim Gironde By Grindley VgcCollectors Encyclopedia Of Flow Blue China BookJohnson Bros England Flow Blue Mongolia Milk Or Creamer With CraneRidgway Historic Flow Blue Transferware Plate Christ Church OxfordScinde Flow Blue Alcock Oriental Vegetable Bowl NrAntique John Maddock & Son's Lidded Tureen Flow Blue BeatriceLot Of 2 Waldorf Flow Blue 9" Plates- Semi-porcelain Newwharf Pottery- EnglandRare Villeroy Boch Serving Bowl Saar Basin Vintage Flow Blue Modernist2- 1927 B&o Railroad Flo Blue Scammells Lamberton China Bowls Carrollton Viaduct W H Grindley Doreen England Antique White Flow Blue Chamber Pot Antique Primitive Flow Blue Stoneware Butter Salt Crock W Lid Wire Handle Bail Pretty Vintage Bue And White Hat Pin Holder Flow Blue? Delft?2 Currier Ives Flow Blue Trivets 4 X 4 Marked Fwu Flng On BackRidgway & Francis Morley - Cashmere Flow Blue -exquisite Platter Circa 1842-1844Beauti Antique English China Flow Blue Transferware Two Handled Vegetable Bowl Johnson Brothers Flow Blue Normandy Berry Bowls (5)Vintage Ironstone Flo Blue/white Greyhound/dog Handled Pitcher6 Antique Flow Blue Dessert Bowls - Cobalt Blue/gold TrimAntique Wh Grindley Bread Dessert Flow Blue Porcelain Plate Lorne England 5 3/4"Htf Lovely Antique Alfred Meakin Kelvin Flow Blue Saucer Porcelain Plate 1891 W. Adams Co. English Flow Blue 10-1/8" Kuyber Willow Pattern Bowl

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

Our Universities Now Care More About Earning Than Learning
AllAfrica.com, August 23rd

In the spirit of openness, cubicles, free work flow, blue-sky and green-fields thinking, one public university has its planned procurement online. You quickly notice that bricks, mortar and land purchases dominate the balance sheet. The university...Read more

Chemistry, Civil War, Travel & Exploration at National Book Auctions
Fine Books & Collections Magazine, August 16th

The ceramics include late 18th and early 19th century Staffordshire examples and several different styles including flow blue transferware and majolica. This auction also features numerous lots of handsome antique carved wooden duck decoys. National ...Read more

Weekend Weather: Sunny and warm; pop up showers possible
WGAL Lancaster, July 31st

JOE: IT LOOKS LIKE A PRETTY NICE WEEKEND COMING OUR WAY. HUMIDITY WILL STAY IN CHECK FOR THE MOST PART. IT WILL STAY COMFORTABLE WITH A NORTHERLY FLOW. BLUE SKIES ON OUR LEBANON SKYCAM. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL ...Read more

Bowling Green hosts Flow Blue club convention
Bowling Green Daily News, July 16th

The event will open to the general public at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with vendors selling Flow Blue dishware. Membership to the FBICC is $45 per year and may be obtained at the convention center or at flowblue.org, where payments can be made with PayPal or ...Read more

Blue flow has fallen out of fashion
azcentral.com, May 12th

Question:I purchased about a dozen pieces of flow blue in the Normandy pattern during the 1980s. Because the pieces I have are at least a century old and in excellent shape, I assumed they would also be easy to sell. I was wrong. I am unable to find a...Read more

Joe Rosson: Flow blue dinnerware not as old as expected
Knoxville News Sentinel, August 23rd

They are flow blue and are marked (among other things) "Verona, Semi Porcelain," and "Wood and Son, England." Can you tell me their history and their value? The problem with telling you the value of your set is that I do not know how many pieces you...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

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