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    

Beautiful Rare Pair Antique English 1840 Flow Blue & Polychrome Enamel Egg Cups Vintage Early Flo Blue Canning Crock Antique Flow Blue Scinde Scenic Transfer Covered Serving Dish Tureen NrScinde Oriental Stone (10x8x1 1/2")platter (flow Blue)Vintage Flow Blue Seville Pattern Wood & Sons Gravy Boat & Underplate EnglandAntique Wedgwood Flow Blue & White - W.phillips Wrexham Commemorative TeapotAntique Flow Blue Handleless Egg Cup Davenport Amoy Circa 1844 Very Rare!Antique Grindley Argyle Flow Blue Teapot Creamer & Sugar - As IsAntique 1849 Flow Blue Spoon Rest / Holder / Bowl - Rare Form / ShapeAntique Ironstone Flow Blue Platter W. Adams Circa Late 1800's EnglandVintage Flow Blue Seville Pattern Wood & Sons Creamer EnglandRare Wheeling Pottery C 1879-1910 Antique Flow Blue Gold Labelle Handle BowlOld Flow Blue Gaudy Ironstone Cup And Saucer, Grape Leaves And Strawberries2 Antique Deep Flow Blue Teapot Coffee Pot Or Sugar Bowl CoversRalph Hall, Rh & Co, Ning Po Plate, Flow Blue, C 1841-1849Antique Scinde Pattern Flow Blue 8 1/4" Luncheon Plate C1840-no Reserve Antique Scinde Pattern Flow Blue 9 1/2" Dinner Plate C1840-no Reserve Antique Ironstone Flow Blue Pitcher Hand Painted Gaudy Welsh Strawberry Pattern Antique Flow Blue Vermont Pattern 2 Dinner Plates Burgess & Leigh England GreatWh Grindley Flow Blue Set Of 3 Serving Platters W/ Gold Accents England Fish Plates Limoges/ Flow Blue/ Cfh-gdm Hand PaintedAntique - Tall Doulton Ewer / Pitcher - Flow Blue - Gold & Cobalt BlueAntique Perfect Flow Blue Bowl Basin Whitaker Heath & Co. England 1892-1898 17" Flow Blue Cup And Saucer Ormonde By Alfred MeakinAntique? Flow Blue English Covered Milk Pitcher Nice Condition!Nice Set Of 4 Touraine 6" Flow Blue Saucers Nice ColorLg. Flow Blue Staffordshire Ironstone Cheese Dish-romantic-exc!-l@@k!Fabulous Antique Flow Blue Transferware Wall PlateLabelle China Flow Blue Covered Vegetable BowlFlow Blue Antique W.h.grindley Idris Pattern Covered Buter Dish EnglandSet Of 4 Antique Flow Blue Grindley 5 1/4" Berry Bowls Gironde PatternAntique Flow Blue Lot 4 Cups 2 Saucers 4 W: Minor FlawsBeautiful Flow Blue Bracelet In "willow" By Allerton, C-18651898 - 1907 Alfred Meakin Harvest Flow Blue Cereal Soup Bowl 7 1/2" X 1.5" Deep Vintage Flow Blue 9" Dinner Plate Atlanta Wedgewood Royal Semi-porcelain England2 Flow Blue Butter Pats New Wharf Pottery England Geneva Cambridge FloralAntique Flow Blue Plate Royal Doulton Geneva Very Good Condition10 Rare Antique Staffordshire Flow Blue 9"&10"plates,the Holland, Alfred Meakin Candleholder- Flow Blue?Antique Flow Blue Butter Pat Plate "acantha" J & G Meakin Hanley EnglandLot Of 10 Antique Flow Blue Plates Bowls And Spoons Xmas Gift - $0.99 Start Bid!Beautiful Flow Blue Trinket Box In "temple" By Podmore Walker, C-1850Copeland China Flow Blue 19th Century Grasshopper Teacups & SaucersAntique Flow Blue Watteau Staffordshire England Plate R N 555592 Good ConditionVintage Asian Themed Large Flow Blue Platter, Made In EnglandFlow Blue Decorative Plate Petrus Regout Abbey Pattern 2 Sets Cups & Saucers, Flow-blue Glenmore, Gridley & Co, England, 1914-1925

Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

Blue Latitude Health wins PMEA 2015 Innovation award
PMLiVE, November 30th

We are pleased to announce that Blue Latitude Health has won a PMEA 2015 award for our work with Eli Lilly and Company on the Lilly Medical Information Cascade. The project was shortlisted in two categories, 'Excellence in Physicians/Healthcare ...Read more

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: How do I use eBay on Black Friday?
Ottawaherald.com, November 26th

Dear eBay Queen: This is my first year selling on eBay, and I know that other people use this time of year to buy stuff to resell. I'm lost on what to buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Can I really get some good deals? What are some tricks you use?...Read more

Flow Customers to Win Big This Christmas
St. Lucia Times Online News (press release), November 23rd

The company celebrates its first in store promotion at the Flow Blue Coral Retail Center with great fanfare and lots of excitement as customers were greeted by Santa's helpers and treated with fruit cake and sorrel! The Flow Christmas campaign features...Read more

Auction watch: Fire up the computers for multiple online sales
Tribune-Review, November 1st

A large collection of Flow Blue should appeal to collectors of classic dinnerware. For an unusual touch, a selection of hand vases delivers various shaped vessels held by hand-shaped bases. Lamps and lighting accessories add a bright spot to the sale...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 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