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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Ridgway & Francis Morley - Cashmere Flow Blue -exquisite Platter Circa 1842-1844Antique English Trio By Samuel Radford, Flow Blue Pattern Glorious ConditionBurgess And Leigh Middleport Flow Blue Nonpareil * Serving Platter * 9"x 7 1/2"Beautiful Flow Blue And Pewter Antique Fluted Pitcher - Very Unique!C.1900 Figural Billy Goat Ram Delft Flow-blue Creamer Jug German Dutch Ges GeschLarge Antique Grindley Lorne Flow Blue 16" Platter~lot #3! Nr!Provincetown, Massachusetts Souvenir Plate Flow Blue Rowland & Marsellus Antique Early 19th-century Clews Dark Flow Blue Don Quixote Pottery Bowl 9" RareEarly Mint Condition Johnson Brothers Holland Flow Blue 12.5 " Serving PlatterMinton. Herbert & Co. Gaudy Flow Blue Plate 1846.Antique French Fil De Fer Wire Art Basket Flo Blue Porcelain Dish Folk Art ~1880Touraine Flow Blue Covered Serving Dish, Ca. 1898Wedgwood Floral Flow Blue Plate 1863.Vtg Antique Flow Blue Pottery Porcelain 1800’s Stork Bird Indian Trade Beads 8Beautiful Flow Blue Candy / Nut / Serving Dish W Floral Design & Scalloped Edge Flow Blue Polychrome Green Ground Toothbrush Box By Hancock C1860Antique Ford & Sons Flow Blue *devon* Tureen.Wedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Oval Platter Flow Blue Antique 12 3/4"Vintage Flow Blue White Porcelain Silk Knotted Filigree Vermeil Necklace 25”Antique Flow Blue 10" Ridgways Dinner Plate Cows Cattle Beautiful! #1 Of 2Antique Victorian Hand Painted Figural Scene Porcelain Flow Blue JardiniereGorgeous Antique Flow Blue Transferware Large 16" Platter Botanical PatternWedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Oval 2handle Celery Dish 9" Flow Blue 1879 Copeland Spode Large Covered Tureen & Under Plate Flow Blue Floral Vines2- 1927 B&o Railroad Flo Blue Scammells Lamberton China Bowls Carrollton ViaductJohnson Bros England Flow Blue Mongolia Milk Or Creamer With Crane8 Clean 1890 Henry Alcock Flow Blue Touraine 8 Inch Plates Good Gold / Very NiceScinde Flow Blue Alcock Oriental Vegetable Bowl NrJohnson Brothers Flow Blue Normandy Berry Bowls (5)Wedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Serving Oval Vegetable Bowl Flow BlueWedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Dinner Plate Flow Blue Antique 9 3/4"Wedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Flat Cream Soup & Saucer Flow BlueFlow Blue Butter Pat With Gold On Rim Gironde By Grindley VgcRidgway Historic Flow Blue Transferware Plate Christ Church OxfordOutstanding Set Of 3 Flow Blue Soup Bowls - "normandy" By Johnson Bros. - ExcJohnson Brothers Flow Blue Normandy Bread And Butter Plates (6)Flow Blue Style Burleigh Ware Willow Cup Saucer Lot Enoch Woods Ware Blue DanubeW. Adams Co. English Flow Blue 10-1/8" Kuyber Willow Pattern BowlAntique Burgess & Leigh Non Pareil Flow Blue 8-3/4" PlateScranton Pennsylvania Plate Flow Blue Rowland & Marsellus Rolled Edge SouvenirAntique Primitive Flow Blue Stoneware Butter Salt Crock W Lid Wire Handle Bail Collectors Encyclopedia Of Flow Blue China Book2 Currier Ives Flow Blue Trivets 4 X 4 Marked Fwu Flng On BackVintage Enoch Wedgwood Flow Blue / White Countryside Dishes Svc For 12 + ServingAntique Flow Blue New Wharf Cambridge 9"plates4 Antique Flow Blue Ceramic Carpet Balls Original No Damage VictorianAntique Buffalo Pottery Semi-vitreous Flow Blue Willow 9" Square Salad Bowl 1909Beauti Antique English China Flow Blue Transferware Two Handled Vegetable Bowl Wedgwood Ferrara Blue White Harbor Scene Serving Oval Platter 10 3/4" Flow BlueVintage Ironstone Flo Blue/white Greyhound/dog Handled PitcherPretty Antique Flow Blue Toothbrush Vase / Holder C1880Antique Flow Blue - 10" Plate , "touraine" Made By Stanley Pottery Co. (1 Of 5)Antique Flow Blue - 10" Plate , "touraine" Made By Stanley Pottery Co. C 1898Antique Wh Grindley Bread Dessert Flow Blue Porcelain Plate Lorne England 5 3/4"

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

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

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