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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, November 23, 2011

Georg Schmider


Vereinigte Zeller Fabriken Georg Schmider
Stamped "Zell GS AM Harmersbach Handgemalt Opatija"
Creamware slip pipkin with bell shaped bowl rising from pronounced circular foot.  Hand-painted floral to one side with three-toned speckled colour to top of bowl covered with a clear gloss glaze. Closed end knob handle
Good, with no chips. Some shrinkage crazing to glaze on interior of bowl.
Production Date
Length (with handle)
Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market
Rameking Reference Number
ZGS 001
ZGS 003
ZGS 004

More properly described as pipkins, but most likely the remnants of a fondue set, the pattern name of these items is named after the popular resort town of Opatija in Croatia about 90 km from Trieste. They are marked on the back as being made in Zell Am Harmersbach, a small historic picture postcard Black Forest market town in Baden-Wurttemberg Germany.  Zell Am Harmsbach is the home of the Hahn und Henne (Rooster and Hen) pottery factory.  Fabulously kitsch in the manner of those modern 1970s multicoloured vases the Germans made.  So tacky that one of my followers would love them.

Like many long-term makers, they have experienced highs and lows.  Known today as "Zeller Keramik'.  We know (because of typical German efficiency) that the pottery opened on the 22nd of October 1794 when Joseph Burger began an earthenware pottery.  Almost half their production was porcelain by the mid 19th Century.   The late 19th and early 20th Centuries saw two town fires almost destroy the works, known as the Upper and Lower Factories, just outside the town gates.   

By 1925 they employed over 500 people, but Georg Schmider died in 1934.  His son-in-law Heinrich Heiss took over the business, then Heinrich's son Gunter ran the company later on.  Unlike a lot of German businesses, they operated successfully for a time during World-War-2.  Flower pots were not high on the list of targets for Bomber Command;  but they had to close for a few years from 1942 because of a shortage of raw-materials.  They recommenced in 1946 and eventually closed the old Upper Factory in 1963.

The recession of the late 1980s saw another disaster averted when a Real Estate company took them over in 1988.  Like Denby in England, their parent-company got into difficulties and the pottery was sold in 1994.  Known as Zeller Keramik Geschwister Hillebrand G.m.b.H since 1997, the company still continues successfully today.  There is also a porcelain museum operating from the old Haiss manor house.  I have added a bit more about this company on the post for Zeller Keramic if you are interested.

Zell Am Harmersbach

Zeller Today

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