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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Carlton Ware


Carlton Ware
Black Ink Stamp to base.
“Carlton Ware Handpainted Made in England Trade Mark Registered Australian Design”
Carlton Ware, "Windswept" pattern .
Ramekins; Deep slipware teacup bowl with round foot. White glaze to exterior with green leaf pattern.  Deep green glaze to interior, similar to their "Vert Royale" colour. Knife-blade handle, tapering to rounded point at end.  
Platter; Kidney shaped dish with stylized leaf decoration (Windswept design) in green on an off-white background, inset moulded ring to fit ramekins.  length 270mm width 95mm.

Good with some staining and age related crazing to foot and bottom of bowl interior.
Stamped 2425
Production Date
late 1950s (after 1958)
Length (with handle)
Camberwell Sunday Market 27 Nov 2011
Rameking Reference Number
CAW 001
CAW 002
CAW 003
CAW 004
CAW 005

Much is available on the web about Carlton Ware, so I won't put too much more.  For more, there is a link to a good site at the end of my blog.  They were established in 1890 in Copeland Street, Stoke-on-Trent, England.  The company was formed as a partnership between James Frederick Wiltshaw and William H and James A Robinson from which the company name of “Wiltshaw and Robinson twas formed.  Quickly becoming a leading manufacturer in an already crowded market, they named the factory “Carlton Works”.  In 1894 they added the trade name of Carlton Ware to the swallow design on the backstamp to create a new trade-mark.

Since the 17th Century, Stoke Upon Trent, situated between Liverpool and Nottingham, has been known for its pottery manufacturing.  Consisting of the six towns of Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton, the presence locally of plentiful supplies of clay and coal led to the development of the pottery industry.  Construction of the Trent and Mersey canal enabled the importation of china-clay from Cornwall together with other materials and facilitated the production of creamware and bone china.  Stoke Upon Trent is still the largest clayware producer in the world and the centre of the British ceramic industry.  Captain Smith of "Titanic" fame came from around Stoke Upon Trent.  China-clay is still a major industry in Cornwall.

I must admit to a bit of fifty cents each way with these because they are marked as having a “Registered Australian Design.”  The stamp is about the only Australian thing about them though.  Carlton Ware has always been popular with collectors and as a result, were copied by the Japanese, even then.  The owner of Carlton Ware, Mr Wiltshaw (Frederick Cuthbert) realized that designs registered in Australia under the South-East Asian Treaty Organization of September 1954  (SEATO) could not legally be copied by the Japanese.  (SEATO ended in 1977).  As a result of this, a lot of their output had the design registered in Australia.  Be careful of websites telling you that the "Australian" designs are 1930s.  That is crap, since the treaty didn't come into being until 1954.

The 1950’s created an explosion in output and creativity and were easily the most productive period for the company.  In 1958 the company was renamed “Carlton Ware Limited” with Cuthbert Wiltshaw, son of William as Managing Director.  Cuthbert died in 1966 and the company was then sold to Wood and Sons, another pottery that was even older than Carlton Ware.  They were an earthenware manufacturer at the Trent potteries and later the Stanley pottery, Burslem.  Sadly, Wood and Sons went into receivership and eventually folded in 2005. 

Their designs vary from the simple elegance of these pieces, to the exuberant cabbage leaf patterns, and all in between.   Like a lot of makers in the 80s, Carlton Ware went into receivership in 1989 but was unsuccessfully revived in 1990-92.  In 1997, Francis Joseph of the Carlton Ware Design Centre, Roslyn Works, Stoke on Trent acquired the company that today, continues making novelty items for the collector market.  The Copeland Street site was redeveloped as offices in 1989.

The Old Carlton Ware Copeland Street Works

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