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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Scrap Album

The Scrap Album

Malcolm Warrington’s The Scrap Album is a handsomely organized site, as you’d expect from an articulate champio… [read review or visit site]

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Malcolm Roebuck's tribute to the ornate silk picture bookmarks and postcards ('Stevengraphs') produced by Thomas St… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Ford & Sons Flow Blue Lidded Tureen With Oval Stand Plate " Balmoral "Antique Johnson Bros. Staffordshire Flow Blue Pitcher "stanley" Very Nice Original 19th C. Doulton Burslem English Flow Blue Iris Pitcher 1890 No ReserveAntique Flow Blue Ironstone Jardiniere Roses Gloire De Dijon Doulton BurslemHtf C1850 Staffordshire Flow Blue Oriental Childs Syllabub Demitasse Tea Cup #13Royal Staffordshire Burslem Flow Blue Polychrome ~ Pekin ~ 9" Plate Lustre DetaiBeautiful Antique Flow Blue China Platter With Gold Accents La Belle China Minton & Hollins Japanese Flow Blue Platter C.1848.Conway Pattern Flow Blue Cup And Saucer Very Rare No Reserve Lovely Flow Blue Staffordshire Art Nouveau Candlestick C1900Antique Flow Blue "jewel" Creamer & Covered Sugar ~ C 1900Lovely Flow Blue Staffordshire Art Nouveau Hatpin Holder C1900Htf C1850 Staffordshire Flow Blue Oriental Childs Syllabub Demitasse Tea Cup #12Copeland Flow Blue Antique Child's Cup And Saucer 150 Years OldHtf C1850 Staffordshire Flow Blue Oriental Childs Syllabub Demitasse Tea Cup #11W.h. Grindley England Flow Blue Cup And Saucer With Gold Trim/accents.Antique Royal Doulton Flow Blue China Plate Hunter Horse Dog & Windmill 18thc French Or English Flow Blue Faience Pottery Clog Sabot Shoe Flow Blue Plate, Manilla, P W & Co, Ironstone, 10" GenuineAntique Vintage Flow Blue 11 1/2" Warwick China Tray W/ Gold Gilt Trim & FlowersAntique 9.75" Rowland & Marsellus Co. Flow Blue Staffordshire Plate New BedfordChusan Red Ground Flow Blue Soup BowlRare Royal Doulton Cobalt Flow Blue Transferware Tureen & Accompaniments Antique Wire Art Flo Blue Porcelain Dish Small French Basket Primitive Folkart Coalport Transferware Flow Blue Cup And Saucer #5012 England $0.99 Starting Bid!Antique 1800's Flow Blue Open Salt Cellar Dip - Star Shaped Handpainted FlowersAntique Flow Blue Pitcher 10 1/2" Oriental Stone J.& G. Alcock As IsJohnson Brothers Flow Blue Rare Dorothy Pattern Set Of 5 Dinner PlatesJohnson Brothers Flow Blue Rare Dorothy Pattern Set Of 5 Salad PlatesSmall Flow Blue Pitcher Raised Relief Spinning Wheel Fishing Boat PerfectLimoges Royal Semi Porcelain Wood & Son England Flow Blue Gravy Boat S1139Antique Original Old Sleepy Eye Indian Teepee Pitcher 9" Flow Blue Art PotteryVintage Scuttle Shaving Mug - Ironstone Staffordshire England - Flow Blue2 Lovely Flow Blue Staffordshire Art Nouveau Lidded Jars/pots C1900 'alma'Flow Blue Dinner Plate - P. Walker - Flora - Great Antique ConditionStaffordshire Flow Blue 2pc Childs Tea Set Little Girl Newfy Dog 1880 Allerton Antique Flow Blue Dinner Plate - Grindley Rose Pattern - Gold RimAntiqur Floral Flow Blue Cup & Saucer Jardimere U&fVery Vintage Staffordshire "block House" Jail Souvenir Plate Flow Blue 10"T. Dimmock (jnr) Cameoo Flow Blue Razor Dish C. 1844.Chinese Flow Blue Damaged Antique Tea Pot, Very Old.Old Antique Meissen German Flow Blue Wood Handle Blue Onion Danube Ladle ScoopAntique Flow Blue DishAdams & Co England Kyber Pattern Flow Blue Ironstone Platter Willow LookStunning Flow Blue Teapot Full Floral Decoration Raised Accents 6.5" HighFlow Blue China Marie Pattern Set Of 2 Bone Dishes Vintage Stanley Flow Blue Touraine 11" Oval Serving BowlLovely Flow Blue Staffordshire Art Nouveau Hair Receiver Jar C1900Lovely Flow Blue Staffordshire Art Nouveau Dressing Table Tray 'alma' C1900Gaudy Flow Blue 3-piece Cruet & Stand.An Antique 'flow Blue' Teapot Stand, Plaque, Mare & Colt. NrAntique Wedgwood Flow Blue Hermitage PlatePetrus Regout & Co Maastricht Holland Abbey Flow Blue Luncheon Plate 7 1/2"Antique Flo Blue Chocolate Cups Set Of 6, A J Wilkinson( 2 ) Nm Stanley Flow Blue Touraine Oval 9" Vegetable Bowlses Vintage Flow Blue Willow Pattern Plate - Marked IronstoneJohnson Bros Flow Blue Saucer In The Hard To Find Dorothy Pattern Set Of 5Antique Doulton Burslem England Madras Flow Blue Soup Salad Serving Bowl Ca 1900English Pottery Flow Blue PlateAntique Middleport Pottery England Nonpareil Burgess & Leigh Flow Blue Plate

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

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

Flow Blue China, fruit jars
Wilson County News, May 6th

Q: I have about two dozen pieces of Flow Blue in the Melbourne and Normandy patterns. I am downsizing, but when I contacted antique dealers in my area there didn't seem to be much interest. The few offers I got were less than what I originally paid...Read more

Say it ain't so, Joe: Namath wouldn't do it all over again
WPBF West Palm Beach, April 30th


Qlik takes its data visualization platform to the cloud
SiliconANGLE (blog), April 27th

open flow blue data center infrastructure flying cubes architecture abstract big data analytics cloud Qlik Technologies Inc. is following the competition into the public cloud with a new managed implementation of its widely-used visual analytics...Read more

Once Strict 'Blue Laws' Have Largely Faded
Hartford Courant, February 25th

Until the 1980s, if you tried buying a pair of blue jeans, a place setting of flow blue china or a blue racer snake in Connecticut on a Sunday, you would likely have found yourself singing the blues. State law kept most stores shuttered. Though many...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
Knoxnews, 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