| Designer || |
| Maker || |
| Marks || Stamped “Westminster Oven to table ware Korea |
| Description || |
Heavy clay ramekin, Brown gloss glaze to exterior. Pale grey gloss glaze to interior and lip. Knobbed lid with matching colour and glaze.
| Condition || |
Good condition, no chips, cracks or crazing. Slight flaw in clay to base and side near handle of one.
| Number || |
| Production Date || Late 1970s |
| Width || 110mm |
| Depth || 47mm |
| Length (with handle) || 178mm |
| Weight || |
475gm Ramekin165gm Lid
| Volume || 300ml |
| Acquisition || Salvo Stores Mt Waverley |
| Rameking Reference Number || WES 001 to 002 |
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Back in the dark ages, the Rameking began a Batchelor of Arts Degree. Above the toilet roll holder in the Mens toilets, someone had written “Arts Degree, Please Take One.” This is a good example of meaning, or perhaps perceived meaning. At the centre of meaning is form and substance. Form is that which can be described. The shape, size, colour of the ramekin. Stoic philosophy separates the object from its mental representation. (With apologies to Roland Barthes) This is what happens when you give a common object a posh name. These are 1970s onion soup dishes made in Korea and stamped with the name “Westminster”. It is designed to create a certain impression. Connotation and denotation. (look it up, I can't do everything for you.)
Remember the old saying “like a bull in a china shop”? The original saying is referred to in a book by Sir Henry Lucy where he refers to”Bulls in the (Westminster) china shop”. He was talking about the House of Commons in the British Parliament at the Palace of Westminster. This has about as much to do with these ramekins as does Westminster Pottery Ltd Hanley, Staffordshire, England that operated from 1948-1956. They were makers of earthenware, chinaware, whiteware, dinnerware and decorative porcelain. (They produced Cottageware, those pottery cottages that you sometimes see in peoples display cabinets.) The London Gazette 27th June 1969, shows that Westminster Pottery Ltd company was dissolved. (pp6700-6701)
Westminster as a name for pottery manufacture has been used often, there are several of them in the US still operating. These, I think may be from Westminster China Pty Ltd of 7 Arnold Street Cheltenham, Victoria trading as Westminster China Australia. The premises are now empty and up for sale, having last been a food distribution company. In a display of great modesty, Westminster advertized their products as being “The most exquisite china in the world.” They operated in various guises from 1955 until 2003.
These ramekins were made in Korea. The print for the stamp on the base is similar to those made by Haeng Nam for Jepcor. Korea made lots of earthenware and stoneware for European and American companies. These are simply marked as “Westminster” . Like many others made around the late 1970s, these are heavier and designed as soup bowls. They are well made heavy stoneware and covered with a brown gloss glaze. One indication of quality is that the handles do not have a hole in them. This means that the handles were better made and designed to cool at the same rate as the bowl without cracking.