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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19c Copeland & Garrett Flow Blue Staffordshire Pottery Pierced Platter Insert19c Davenport Amoy Oriental Pattern Flow Blue Staffordshire Teapot19c Scenic Oriental Flow Blue Staffordshire Porcelain Oval Tray 11 X 14"19c Sobraon Flow Blue Staffordshire Porcelain Oval Tray Platter 12.5 X 16"Oriental Flow Blue / Green Ground Plate C.1850Antique 1800’s Flow Blue Ironstone Staffordshire Pitcher Jug Leaf & Swag Brush 19c English Flow Blue Staffordshire Lahore Burslem Creamer 2 Of 419c English Flow Blue Staffordshire Oriental Pattern Creamer 1 Of 419c English Flow Blue Staffordshire Oriental Pattern Large Soup Or Punch LadleAntique Flo Flow Blue Thanksgiving Turkey Extra Large Serving Platter Gold Rim19c Flow Blue Vinranka Teapot By Cefle Upsala Ekeby Grape Leaves19c English Davenport Flow Blue Staffordshire Oriental Sauce Or Gravy BoatGrindley Utopia Flow Blue Tea Set W/ Teapot, Sugar & Creamer, Teacup & 6 SaucersVintage Flow Blue Ironstone Fancy Small Scenic Pitcher With Sea Shells UnmarkedFine Old Chinese Flow Blue Decorated Porcelain 8 Sided Centerpiece BowlAntique Staffordshire Cobalt Flow Blue Platter Signed 18 InchesAntique Flow Blue Ironstone English Large Platter, Oriental Motif, 18" X 15"Flow Blue Copper Brushed Medium Pitcher - Unmarked - Very Nice ConditionSmall Flow Blue Pitcher - Normandy By Johnson Brothers, England - FlawlessT.forester Phoenix Ware Floral Flow Blue Vase C.1891.Pretty Flow Blue W.h.grindley 'melbourne' Sauce Tureen & Ladle C1891Vtg Utah Morman Flow Blue 40th Anniversary W H Wright Souvenir Plate A+ AntiqueFour Antique 1897 Flow Blue Salad Plates Grace By GrindleyVintage Royal Doulton England Flow Blue Series Porcelain Plate Pembroke CastleFlow Blue Touraine Henry Alcock &co 12 1/2" Platter Late 1800's19c Flow Blue Staffordshire Pottery Group Of 3 Misc. Pieces As-is ConditionFlow Blue Transfer Ware Unmarked 16.5" Platter- Oriental, Asian, Chinese PatternBurgess And Leigh Flow Blue Raleigh Pattern Rn 393237 Egg Cup Very Near Mint19thc Antique Staffordshire Pottery Flow Blue Dinner Plate19c Flow Blue Staffordshire Royal Blue Porcelain Oval Tray Fish PlatterFlow Blue Waldorf Pattern Plates (4)Rare Flow Blue Onion Powd. Sugar Canister With Lid Germany PowderedOscar Schaller & Co Flow Blue Hanging Porcelain Mehl (flour) JarMorning Glory Flow Blue Luster Gaudy Ironstone 1850 Handle-less 2 Cups, 1 SaucerAntique Flow Blue Large Serving Bowl U.s.s. New York English PorcelainVtg Flow Blue Pitcher - Florida By Johnson Bros - 5 1/2" Excellent Don't Miss19c English Flow Blue Staffordshire Oriental Sauce Or Gravy BoatFine Old Chinese Swatow Flow Blue Porcelain Teacup & Saucer AAntique Wh Grindley Flow Blue / 9" Plate / Osborne / Htf / Number 11896 "persian" Flow Blue - 10 1/8" Plate - Johnson Brothers EnglandFlow Blue Oyster Dish EnglandAntique Flow Blue Gravy Boat3 Extraordinary Fine Quality Large Antique Hand Painted Pottery Flow Blue BowlsFlow Blue Cup With Pear 6"x8" Original Oil Painting On Linen Panel By CelizabethVintage Lot Of 6 Flow Blue Touraine Cups & SaucersFlow Blue Burgess & Leigh Nonpereil PlateVictorian Flow Blue Opaque Granite China Lazuli W.b & Co Cream Jug A/fCa 1910's Flow Blue Plate Souvenir Of St. Petersburg Fl Vintage Rowe Salt Glaze Stoneware W/ Flow Blue Bird Pitcher 1983 Nice !Antique Flow Blue 10 1/2" Doulton Burslem Madras PlateAntique W.h. Grindley Flow Blue Florida 10" Plate Beautiful Gold Trim Stamped 34Vintage Flow Blue Floral German China Royal Berlin Cabinet BowlAntique Wm Grindley Flow Blue 7" Plate With Gold Trim Brazil With Display HangerRoyal Copenhagen Flow Blue 10 Inch Oval Plate Vintage Flow Blue Marblehead Mass Souvenir Plate Made In England For R.m. Cook Antique Flow-blue Souvenir Plate Of St. AugustineAntique English Flow Blue 6 1/4" Bowl, Gold Trim