This example is a reproduction pitcher and bowl set intended to be mistaken for Victorian era Flo or Flow Blue transferware. How do we know this? The maker's mark on the bottom identifies these pieces to be "Flo Blue". No mistaking that.
As the 'Homestead' word also included in the mark implies, the decorative transfer design depicts a farm scene with cows and sheep and a barn and trees. This also was applied with the intent of suggesting an age for the set that is not realistic.
Here are some of additional aspects about this item that can help to identify it as a contemporary piece, made to appeal generally to decorators seeking a 'look' without the price of antique ware, and also to real collectors of Flow (or Flo) Blue:
1. The pieces in the set are not fully glazed. There are unglazed areas visible on the foot rim. Nearly all authentic blue transfer ware pieces were fully glazed, since they were intended for actual use. Complete glazing would be especially important for items such as this that presumably were to hold a liquid. Otherwise the liquid can seep under the glaze and damage it.
2. The foot rim is very thick and chunky in appearance. The standing rims of antique Flow Blue items were seldom wider than 1/8 inch.
3. This piece looks to be a cheap, ceramic-type pottery, not vitrified stoneware or porcelain. Authentic flow blue decorated items were typically made on a body of good quality. That is what has helped many fine examples to survive multiple decades of use and abuse before they came to be collected.
4. The pieces in this set exhibit characteristic all-over crazing. This feature is frequently applied today in modern factories to help reproduction and fake ceramic articles be mistaken for aged goods. Vitrified stoneware does not typically craze like this, even with heavy use. Nor does porcelain which has a glaze fused to the body.
5. The mark on the bottom is huge, covering quite a bit of the bottom area of the piece. The maker wanted to be sure it would not only seem impressive, but also that the wording included in it would be easily read. Most old marks are almost never over 1 inch in size (about the size of a quarter).
6. Although the mark on this item is made to resemble an old type of mark, it is actually contemporary. 'Flow Blue' and 'Flo Blue' are terms only bestowed in recent times by modern collectors to items that fit into their peculiar collecting niche. Neither of those terms were used when the antique ware to which it is now being applied were made. 'Flow Blue' or 'Flo Blue' will not be found in any of the marks of makers who historically made these kinds of items.
See the Favorite Links section for a page with information on identifying new 'Flow Blue.'
The pitcher measures 10 1/4 inches tall to the top of the handle and the bowl stands 4 3/4 inches tall and is 16 3/4 inches x 14 3/4 inches.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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