This example is a fantasy blue and white teapot wearing a mark that says, "Victoria Ironstone Staffordshire England." There are a multitude of transfer-ware items with this mark. Often on the secondary market they will be described as Victorian Flow Blue or Flo Blue and 'antique' - but none are old pieces. These kinds of items can typically be found in many gift shops and 'antique' malls. While it is fine to offer them for sale for decorative uses, they should never be represented as antiques, nor even vintage.
Some of the aspects about this item that help identify it as a contemporary fake, made to appeal to collectors of antique transferware, or Flow Blue:
1. It is not fully glazed. The foot rim was left unglazed. Nearly all authentic blue transfer ware pieces will be fully glazed, since they were intended for actual use.
2. This piece is pottery, not vitrified stoneware, even though the mark says, `Ironstone.'
3. If truly old the item should exhibit some evidence of wear, especially if ever used for the intended purpose for which it was made, serving hot tea. But it has no signs of age or use.
4. Though the Staffordshire area of England has been an important pottery center since the 1700's, the word "Staffordshire" generally was not included in maker's marks before the second quarter of the 20th century. Staffordshire is an area not a city.
4. Although the mark on this item looks like a rendition of the Royal Arms, which tends to suggest age and importance, in actuality it is the mark of Blakeney Pottery, which began business in England in 1968. It is known to have produced a variety of reproductions and fakes in recent years.
See the Favorite Links section for a page with information on identifying new 'Flow Blue.'
Measures approximately 12 inches across at the spout and 12 inches tall.