Skip to main content

Antique Flow Blue Pottery

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Flow Blues pottery has a very old and interesting history.

Flow Blue, sometimes referred to as flowing blue, is stone china that is decorated with mainly oriental patterns. This wonderful style of pottery was first produced in Staffordshire from about 1825, while the old blue china with historical scenes was still being made and before light-toned scenic China became popular. The flow blue stone china base distinguished it from the softer pottery base of old blue or light-toned scenic china. The Flowing blue color is produced by the action of volatile chlorides upon ceramic colors. The designs are applied to the china surface with ceramic colors, and in the kiln, they are exposed to a chlorinated atmosphere. The vapor causes the cobalt in the glaze to spread and blur, into a flowing blue tone, this is the main reason it was labeled Flow Blue.


Flow Blue Patterns

The motifs are assembled and arranged differently by each Flow Blue artist, and thus the patterns of the various manufacturers vary although they include similar motifs. Also, although the motifs are oriental, the interpretation is Western in spirit and the border is often definitely English in the motif as well as feeling. This difference is readily seen by comparing a piece of Flow Blue with a piece of English Willow ware which is decidedly oriental in feeling. You can still find odd pieces of Flow Blue in the most antique shop, but it takes some real patience to assemble any form of dinner service or tea set. However, once you have purchased a few pieces of Flow Blue, you will feel most certainly feel its charm. Most likely you will realize you have found yourself a new hobby, in collecting Flow Blue. Flow Blue china is available within the price range of the average collector's purse. But keep in mind, the older pieces can be very costly.

  1. Watteau produced by - John & Wm. Adams and also by Doulton, very different romantic patterns which date 1890-1910. Tunstall, Staffordshire, England
  2. Non Pariel produced by - Burgess & Leigh which dates 1891-1900. Burslem, Staffordshire England
  3. Italian Scenery produced by - W. Adams which dates 1890. Tunstall, Staffordshire, England
  4. Oriental produced by - Ridgways, this pattern was produced after 1890 and continued into the 1920s. Hanley, Staffordshire, England
  5. Peruvian produced by - John Wedge Wood which dates 1849. Burslem, Staffordshire England
  6. Leicester produced by - Sampson Hancock & Sons; this pattern has a hunting scene in a medallion border and dates 1906. Staffordshire, England
  7. Geneva produced by - Doulton which dates 1890. Burslem, Staffordshire England, and Lambeth, London, England
  8. Jenny Lind produced by - by Arthur Wilkinson which dates 1895. Burslem, Staffordshire England
  9. Excelsior produced by - Thomas Fell which dates 1850. -New Castle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England 1817-1890.
  10. Rhine produced by - Edward Challinor which dates 1850. Tunstall, Stoke - on -Trent, England

Putting A Value On A Piece Of Flow Blue Pottery

The value of any given flow blue piece is determined by the depth of color and the way the color has spread. Sometimes the flow blue pattern is too blurred to be considered attractive. Although Flow Blue is the popular and most pleasing color, many of the same patterns were also made in Flowing Brown and Flowing Purple. Cobalt oxide is used for blue, and nickel oxide for brown. The china base for flowing color was stone, usually ironstone, and thus pieces are often marked "Pearl Stone " or "Stone China" or something similar, in addition to the name of the pattern, and the maker. The design motifs of the various Flow Blue patterns are of oriental inspiration. The majority of the flow blue patterns include a temple, a bridge, and a tree. The tree may be bamboo, a willow, or a flowering tree. Often a boat is included.


Do You Have An Old Flo Blue Hallmark You Can't Identify?

Guide To Pottery And Porcelain Marks

This extensive compilation of pottery and porcelain marks will appeal to the ceramic collector and novice alike. Marks, initials, and signatures representing manufacturers from over 20 countries will aid anyone interested in tracing the history and origin of ceramics. Please visit Old And Sold guide to Pottery And Porcelain Marks. Old And Sold have a wonderful Hallmark forum, I think you might enjoy

Are You Into Researching Flo Blue Pottery? Check Out Old And Sold Antique Digest

Old And Sold Has literally thousands of research articles for those that love antiques, and so much more. Information that has been lost over time. Please stop in and have a look-see. I think you will make it one of your favorites sites to reference Antiques.

Scroll to Continue

Old And Sold Antique Digest

Read more on Flo Blue at the Digest...


Thanks for your visit... Please would love a bit of feedback.

anonymous on January 14, 2013:

Brings back memories. My mom had a big bedroom set of flow blue (she called it blue flow) pieces. It included the big water pitcher, the basin, covered soap dish, and quite a few other pieces. It's been many years ago as she passed away 27 years ago.

WorldTravelers916 on September 15, 2008:

these should be put into pottery barns everywhere!

light diffuser

WorldTravelers916 on September 02, 2008:

great collection, i like all the colors!


Keaka77 on August 15, 2008:

My mom has the biggest collection of these types of plates. Flow blue is here absolute favorite.

Play Online

Related Articles