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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Picton Hopkins

Picton Hopkins and Sons Pty Ltd
Picton Hopkins and Sons Pty Ltd
Incised “Picton Hopkins” under glaze to base
Mould pressed wide mouth tapering with straight sides to narrow base. Black plain gloss glaze to exterior with harlequin glazes to interiors.
Good condition for age with some age related crazing to interior. Stirrup marks are pronounced.
Production Date
Length (with handle)
Chapel Street Bazaar, Prahran, Victoria
Picton Hopkins and Sons Pty Ltd is one of Victoria's oldest continuously operating family businesses, having starting in 1857. It was established by the four Picton brothers from Wales who were craftsmen in the masonry and plaster trades handed down to them from their Father and Grandfather, which they in turn handed down to their grandsons. Hopkins was plasterer Isaac Hopkins who arrived in Victoria in 1858. Later, in 1882-83 Isaac became mayor of the suburb of Williamstown. They began working in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond at 130 Church Street but the business is now located at 138 Bell Street Preston, Melbourne, with branches at several regional cities around Victoria as well as clients nationally. The fifth generation of the Picton family still works the business today. During the early 1940's like many other pottery companies, they began producing a range of tableware and decorative pottery items including these ramekins. Some of their pottery was decorated with pseudo-aboriginal designs, polka dots and other features. Pottery production seems to have stopped by the mid 1950's. Picton Hopkins now specialize in the manufacture of plaster products and architectural moulding. The plaster-work ceiling of well known Melbourne restaurant Grossi Florentino was created by Picton Hopkins and can still be seen in the mural room. The University of Melbourne, School of Architecture once had the “Picton Hopkins Prize”.