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Victorian Flow Blue - A Guide
What is it ?, and how it was made.
Flow blue started off as a mistake.It originated from the early part of Queen Victoria's reign, and was considered at the time to be a fault that occurred when the potters were transferring the patterns onto the white china.This error happened when the china was being glazed and the cobalt blue colour,being unstable,"flew" into the surrounding white glaze, giving a muzzy appearance rather than the usual and accepted crisp pattern.Most of the Flow Blue was considered sub standard and was sent off to the Americas as the British Pottery retailers did not think that the British public would accept the Muzzy patterns on their tableware. However,over the Atlantic, just like Gaudy Welsh, it became an immediate success, as the American buyers thought it was very beautiful -and,what is more,, to the amazement of the British Pottery industry, the British public started to like it also, until there was such a demand for the new "flow blue" tableware that the potters were now deliberately allowing the unstable cobalt blue to fly everywhere onto the white china.Such was it's popularity that by the end of Queen Victoria's long reign enormous dinner services were being made in Flow Blue and given names such as "Romance", "Romantic" and "Wild Roses" etc. Now, the table has turned full circle, as the modern collector clamours to buy Victorian Flow Blue or Flo' Blue.. However, it is to be noticed that some dealers are "Labelling" ordinary blue and white, Flow Blue, when the only part "Flowing" is in the fanciful mind of the dealer rather than on the plates!!Proper Flow Blue always shows a Muzzy Bluey appearance to the white, not just crisp blue and white.
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