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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Recent News: Flow Blue China

Source: Google News

Jean McClelland: Relief molded pitchers offers lots of variety for collectors
Huntington Herald Dispatch, March 28th

If one were to perhaps pick up a pitcher that is a crossover such as a flow blue molded pitcher the value would be increased because it would appeal to two groups of collectors. Those who collect flow blue and those who collect molded pitchers would be ...Read more

Outdoor notebook
Muskogee Daily Phoenix, March 26th

White bass are moving up the creeks to spawn. Trolling and bank fishing the Big Sans Bois Creek has been producing good stringers of white bass as long as there is good water flow. Blue and channel catfish good on live shad at 4 ft. along flats and the...Read more

Weekly Fishing Report
NewsOK.com, March 25th

White bass are moving up the creeks to spawn. Trolling and bank fishing the Big Sans Bois Creek has been producing good stringers of white bass as long as there is good water flow. Blue and channel catfish good on live shad at 4 ft. along flats and the...Read more

Garth's Eclectic Auction Comes Alive with a Big Top Vibe
ArtfixDaily, March 19th

On Friday, April 3rd, Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers will host their spring Eclectic auction where 900 items will be offered including: postcards, lighting, primitive furniture, Victorian, painted chairs, early chests, a Brunswick 9 foot pool table...Read more

Flow fetes with food
Jamaica Gleaner (subscription), March 18th

That meant small portions, with LED lit trays, incorporating the Flow blue into the plating as well. The disguise at the beginning was to have persons thinking that they were at a regular cocktail event, introducing a new item at intervals, building...Read more

A Classy and Complete Guide to Yard Sales
New Hampshire Magazine, March 11th

I saw a flow blue pitcher at a yard sale selling for 25 cents! I thought I had really scored, but then I saw the chip. Instead of big bucks, It's just worth $30. Still better than 25 cents. Another time I found an antique cheese basket. I bought it for...Read more

Zonta Club of Longview sells antiques, gives away prom dresses
Longview News-Journal, March 8th

"It's the best three-day show we do," said Doy Knightstep, who with his brother, James, have brought their Flow Blue, Staffordshire and Majolica china from their Lewisville base to Zonta shows for more than a dozen years. "It's a great show," he continued...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