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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Monday, July 9, 2012

CAP Josef & Vlasta

Josef and Vlasta Cap
Incised with a map of Australia with the letters CAP in capitals above the map.
Glazed slipware
Cream slipware straight-sided bowl tapering to a circular foot-ring.  Short stem handle angled upward from centre of body.  Decorated with alternating vertical pale yellow and brown stripes overpainted with strips of black and a patch of similar decoration to top of handle.
Very Good
No number
Production Date
Late 1950s
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Rameking Reference Number
CAP 001-004

Here is another something for my Slovakian reader.   These ramekins were made by Josef and Vlasta Cap in South Melbourne, Victoria.  Usually they used “Vlasta” as their mark but if you look hard, you can just see the word “CAP” above the incised outline of Australia on the base.  The shape is similar to some of the Ellis ramekins and the handle is pure Diana with the design screaming late 1950s.  Take a stroll through the antique barns around the traps and you will see examples of this type of pattern on any number of tacky vinyl seats.  They were bad taste then and they are bad taste now but are representative of their time.  There is no other use of this logo that I have been able to find on any other ceramics. 

The Cap Family was part of the great post-war migration from Eastern Europe. They arrived in Melbourne from Czechoslovakia in 1951.  Josef, born 23 July 1923; his wife Vlasta, born 15 October 1922 and son Miloslav born 9 July 1949.  Josef had trained and worked as a sculptor and ceramic artist for 5 years before being arrested by the Gestapo and put into a camp because  Josef had a school friend who was accused of being a British spy.  In those days, that was enough.  After his release Josef re-established his career from 1944 until 1948 when Josef and wife Vlasta applied to come to Australia.  Her maiden name was Kratchovil. (Yes, the Ellis Kratchovil)  Maybe that is where the idea for the shape came from.

Josef Cap

Following the war, Josef fell foul of the new communist regime and that is why he had to leave the country, but Josef had a heart condition and under normal circumstances would have been rejected.  Because he was described as an expert ceramic worker, he was accepted.  The Family came to Australia in 1951 and started a small pottery at 19a Bank Street South Melbourne, Victoria to capitalize on the desperate post-war shortage of home-wares and the upcoming Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956.  In those days, South Melbourne was a hive of Industry, now it is full of pony-tailed advertising types.  As well as ramekins, the Cap's also made other items such as vases

Vlasta Cap

Their old building is long gone and the site now is used as a car-parking garage.  They usually named their wares “Vlasta” after Mrs Cap, but that name is based on one of the amazons of Czech mythology. The name Vlasta is a girls name. The origin is Slavic with the meaning(s) depending on Gender/Origin being Slavic- Powerful Princess or Glorious Chief. It is the feminine form of Vladyslav.  Vlasta died in Heidelberg, Victoria in 1971 aged 40 and was cremated at Springvale on the 3rd of December 1971.

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