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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, January 7, 2012

ALB (Alcock Lindley & Bloor)


ALB Alcock, Lindley & Bloor
Large black stamp to base Large “A” with L & B to inside
Two handled bowl with dark brown exterior and harlequin interior.
Good. Some minor age related crazing to interior and small chip to edge

Production Date
Length (with handle)
Waverley Antiques 8th Jan 2012.
Rameking Reference Number
ALB 001-003

Not Australian and by my definition, not Ramekins, but too cheap to ignore.  I have included them because there was an Australian maker who copied, sorry, paid homage to the original design by recreating it.  Design copyright was viewed somewhat more flexibly back then.   I will trawl through the vast archives at Rameking Central because I have some of them stashed away somewhere.

ALB or Alcock, Lindley and Bloor were Victor George Harris Alcock, Walter S Lindley and William and Robert Bloor.  The business was started by B.J. Swinnerton in Burton Place, Hanley, Stoke on Trent.  The factory was called the “Vulcan Works”; originally built in 1864 in Broad Street, Hanley by John Adams and Co.  Later the factory was bought by Elijah Cotton.  ALB became a limited company in 1911 and merged with W Lindley to take over the old “Chelsea” Works.  (A previous generation of Bloor brothers had operated “Chelsea” back in the 1840s.)

ALB started their factory in 1906 at Hanley, Stoke on Trent.  They operated from their works “Vulcan Pottery” in Clough street in the town of Hanley, Stoke on Trent   Originally “Smith & Co” from 1882, they commenced in 1919 and closed in 1975 after being taken over by Royal Doulton in 1975.  Best known for their “Brown Betty” teapots, they were one of the smaller works in Staffordshire, having around 100 people coming from the same five families.

Following the death of B.J Swinnerton, prior to World War One, V.G.H Alcock became Chairman of the Company.  During WW1, William Bloor joined the company and the “Washington Pottery” was acquired.  In 1925, they bought the “Victoria Pottery, and began making teapots.  This was followed by the acquisition of the “Scotia Pottery” in Burslem that also later made teapots.  Around this time, a new works for production of Samian and Rockingham teapots was constructed.

In 1929, ALB invented a new nozzle for depositing slip on teapots and other items to form a decoration.  A redevelopment of the Vulcan works commenced in 1938 and was completed in 1952.  This lengthy process was due to the inconvenient interruption of World War 2.  In 1952, acquisitions continued with Davidson & Son Ltd, Burslem, (1898-1952) another long established pottery company being purchased.

In 1953 the “Washington Works” was sold and in 1959, Swinnertons was taken over by  the Lawley Group and the Swinnertons name gradually disappeared.  In 1964, ALB. Along with Shore and Coggins, Chapmans and the Paragon China Company became a subsidiary of Allied English Potteries; a combination of the Lawley Group and Thomas C Wild & Sons Ltd.  In 1967, Allied English Potteries were acquired by the Standard Industry Group, then in 1971 AEP became part of Royal Doulton and ALB closed in 1979.  Royal Doulton then became part of “Steelite International”.  Their Chief Executive is a former Royal Doulton employee.


  1. Just found this while looking for mine online that I am selling. I really want to hang onto them but you can't keep everything can you (?). They are great colours.

  2. I have a set of ALB ramekins. I live in the USA and have tried to find them here. I have never found these anywhere except Australia. They must have been an export for your market. The ones I have, I purchased through the ebay Australia site.