Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Ramequin, Ramekin dish.


(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin


English Noun




A type of dish




French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.


Monday, July 13, 2009


Lane, Kemp, Willis Potteries Pty Ltd were established at 109 Highbury Road Burwood Victoria in 1936 and in one form or another, produced a variety of pottery until the mid 1970s. They also had premises at 329 Warrigal Road Burwood. The ramekins they produced appear to have been of one pattern. Some had a black exterior and harlequin interior. These have a mottled green high gloss glaze sprayed to the interior. The external glaze is matte. They are square with rounded corners and the handles seem to resemble those of Cotton (UK).  The circular ones are from a later incarnation of the company.

The original Lane, Kemp and Willis were; (believe it or not!)

Arthur Ulrich Superbus Lane, 450 shares
Graham Roy Kemp, 450 shares, and
Rupert Horace Willis, 100 shares.
In 1938, Alexander George Quibell, a Quantity Surveyor also became a shareholder.  Later, Alexander was head of the queue of unsecured creditors when the company went into liquidation.

You don't get names like that these days.  Their partnership lasted from August 1935 until February 1940 when Arthur went it alone.  Arthur and Graham were manufacturers and Rupert was an accountant.

All of the ramekins I have seen from Lane have had paper stickers attached to the base.  These have no sticker or marking, nor are there any cracks, chips or crazing. These are both a late 1950s-early 1960s ramekin sets.  They have a modernist retro shape inspired by the European potters who had moved into post-war Melbourne. They have a mid green glaze with brown and olive mottling and a finish called pewter in this range of ramekins.  Not to be confused with the reflective metallic finish. The square ones measure 4.5" wide x 5.75" long.

On the 21st June 1939, Lane Kemp & Willis who had been in liquidation, lodged a notice of intention to apply for registration as Lane Potteries Pty Ltd.  Lane and Willis were to be directors of the new company, Kemp was not there.  On the 25th of July 1939, the new company was granted a Certificate of Incorporation.

In 1966, the “Suburban Distributing Company” was listed as occupying the building in Warrigal Road.  This was a short-lived pottery business.  Southern Aurora Pottery Pty Ltd also operated from 1967 at 329 Warrigal Road Burwood Victoria, the same location as Lane, and now an antiques auction house.  By 1974, Lane was gone but Southern Aurora was still operating.  The name Southern Aurora comes from our equivalent of the Northern Lights. Auroras are the result of emissions of photons in the Earth's upper atmosphere. It was a popular name in its day, having both a train and an aircraft named after it.

The ramekins that Southern Aurora later produced appear to have been of one pattern, but with varying decoration. Most have a plain cream exterior and harlequin interior. Some have a mottled green high gloss glaze sprayed to the interior.  The external glaze is matte. The potters got their clay from the now abandoned Burwood Brickworks quarry, bordered by Burwood Highway, Middleborough and Eley roads, Melbourne, Victoria. Southern Aurora Pty Ltd were then found in the outer suburb of Bayswater, Victoria from 1975 to 1977.  By then, the Australian government had suddenly and without warning slashed tariffs by 25%.  This opened the door to cheaper imports and almost killed the local industry overnight.    

Later, from 1969, Southern Aurora Pty Ltd operated from their premises.  Although manufacturing in Bayswater, the company kept using the Burwood address for business purposes.


  1. Just for total accuracy .... I believe it was Ulric without an 'h'.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Tell the Companies Office back in the day, that's what is on record.