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Flow Blue China

Flow blue china refers to a type of transfer pottery produced in England by multiple manufacturers around 1820. It was sold mostly in the United States, and while at first glance it appears similar to other blue-and-white pottery such as Blue Willow, flow blue china's blurred finish makes it unique. Manufacturers included Johnson Brothers, Minton, Royal Doulton, and Wedgwood. The objects created were vast and included teapots, plates and platters, toilet wares, vases, and dog bowls.

An interesting characteristic of flow blue china is its blue marble effect. The pattern is blurred in such a way that from afar, it seems to resemble a piece of carved, blue-veined marble. By World War I, U.S. potteries had taken note of American interest in the style and began to produce most of the flow blue porcelain for the domestic market. This in turn caused English potters to exit the flow blue market.

Demand for flow blue china dropped during both World Wars, but interest picked up again in the '60s. Large amounts of flow blue china were shipped into or manufactured in the U.S., making it a fairly sensible porcelain for American collectors.


Quick Facts

  • The name flow blue china derives from the blue glaze that flowed during the firing process, causing the blurred look
  • Most flow blue patterns are transferware, which means the patterns were applied with a paper stencil rather than hand painted
  • Though flow blue china comes in a variety of blue shades, the shade most sought after by collectors is bright cobalt blue

Recommended Items at Auction

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Large Flow Blue "Leicester" Pitcher, 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Large Flow Blue "Leicester" Pitcher, 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
Flow Blue "Haddon" by Grindley c. 1891 Oval Covered Vegetable on Platter, 12 in. (30.5 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue "Haddon" by Grindley c. 1891 Oval Covered Vegetable on Platter, 12 in. (30.5 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
10 Flow Blue "Dover" Dinner Plates by Grindley
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
10 Flow Blue "Dover" Dinner Plates by Grindley
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
Flow Blue "Waverley" Platter by W.H. Grindley and Co., 10 x 7 in. (25.4 x 17.8 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue "Waverley" Platter by W.H. Grindley and Co., 10 x 7 in. (25.4 x 17.8 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
Large Flow Blue "Argyle" Oval Platter by Grindley, 17 x 12 in. (43.2 x 30.5 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Large Flow Blue "Argyle" Oval Platter by Grindley, 17 x 12 in. (43.2 x 30.5 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
Flow Blue "Blue Willow" Oval Platter, 14 x 10 1/2 in. (35.6 x 26.7 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue "Blue Willow" Oval Platter, 14 x 10 1/2 in. (35.6 x 26.7 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
19th Century Flow Blue Ironstone Platter by Royal Doulton
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
19th Century Flow Blue Ironstone Platter by Royal Doulton
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$201 Bid
Flow Blue "Haddon" By Grindley c. 1891 Various Dishes
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue "Haddon" By Grindley c. 1891 Various Dishes
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$301 Bid
2 Flow Blue "Vinranka" Pitchers, 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
2 Flow Blue "Vinranka" Pitchers, 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Lg. Flow Blue La Belle Helmet Bowl, 13 x 10 in. (33 x 25.4 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Lg. Flow Blue La Belle Helmet Bowl, 13 x 10 in. (33 x 25.4 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Flow Blue "Scinde" by Alcock Platter, 18 x 14 1/2 in. (45.7 x 36.8 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue "Scinde" by Alcock Platter, 18 x 14 1/2 in. (45.7 x 36.8 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
Small Flow Blue "Leicester" Pitcher, 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Small Flow Blue "Leicester" Pitcher, 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
2 Flow Blue "Argyle" Plates, 9 in. (22.9 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
2 Flow Blue "Argyle" Plates, 9 in. (22.9 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Early Flow Blue Gaudy Ironstone Tea Canister, 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Early Flow Blue Gaudy Ironstone Tea Canister, 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Flow Blue Center Bowl, 12 x 6 x 7 in. (30.5 x 15.2 x 17.8 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue Center Bowl, 12 x 6 x 7 in. (30.5 x 15.2 x 17.8 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Antique Flow Blue Platters, 15 " Some Chips
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Antique Flow Blue Platters, 15 " Some Chips
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Flow Blue Napoleon Chocolate Pot, Victoria Carlsbad Austria, 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Flow Blue Napoleon Chocolate Pot, Victoria Carlsbad Austria, 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Flow Blue Transferware & Other Antique Porcelain
Mar 01, 8:30 AM EST
Flow Blue Transferware & Other Antique Porcelain
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$250 Bids
Large English antique flow blue platter
Feb 26, 12:00 PM PST
Large English antique flow blue platter
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$200 Bids
Three Antique Historical Flow Blue Pottery Plates, Clews & Ridgway, 19th C
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
Three Antique Historical Flow Blue Pottery Plates, Clews & Ridgway, 19th C
by Winfield Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
19thc Large Furnival Flow Blue Platter
Mar 16, 2:00 PM EDT
19thc Large Furnival Flow Blue Platter
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $75- $150
$600 Bids
Flow Blue, Meissen, Prussia, Staffordshire Collection Lot
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Flow Blue, Meissen, Prussia, Staffordshire Collection Lot
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
Flow Blue Lidded Figural Tureen Serving Dish
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Flow Blue Lidded Figural Tureen Serving Dish
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $10- $20
$50 Bids
A pair of 20th century flow blue vases, 34cm high conforming twin handled v
Feb 28, 10:30 AM GMT
A pair of 20th century flow blue vases, 34cm high conforming twin handled v
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £0- £0
£50 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Flow Blue China


Amelia Jeffers

Amelia Jeffers

Premier Auction Galleries

Premier Auction Galleries

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd