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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dümler and Breiden


Dumler & Breiden
Impressed 206/14 Germany to base
Press-moulded heavy slip glazed shallow bowl with flat handle moulded onto top of rim, angled downwards at end. Unglazed footring.
Good, small chip to outside top of rim
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Camberwell Sunday Market
19th August 2012
Rameking Reference Number
DBR 001


West German studio pottery is extremely collectible with its distinctive patterns, textures and shapes. The range of colours, shapes, textures and sizes is mind-boggling.  A number of factories produced these characteristic ceramics; Baykeramik, Carstens, Dumler & Breiden, Jopeko, Roth, Ruscha and Scheurich to name just a few.  After a period of time being generally 'out of fashion' these amazing ceramics are being appreciated once more for their style and eccentricity. They are now regularly seen gracing the pages of design and interior magazines.   

This ramekin is indicative of the period from the 1950s to 1970s when innovation and production of these potteries was at its height.  Garish coloring, bizarre patterning and contrasting forms: West German Studio Pottery is opinionated, you either love it or loathe it, which is surely better than mediocrity.

From the 50s to the 80s, over 100 companies made art pottery in Germany.  One of these was the company that made this ramekin.  It was made with a variety of patterns and colours.  It has been described as a “Bowl with a handle” by Dümler & Breiden. Brown, rough glaze underneath, inside and top of handle, 18 cm in diameter, measures about 6 cm tall. 0.430 kg.
Peter Dumler

The company was founded in 1883 by Peter Dümler (b; 7 Nov 1869 d 19: Apr 1907) and his old school friend and later on, brother in law Albert Breiden (b: 12 June 1860 d: 27 May 1926) in western Germany not far from Koblenz.   The pottery was located in the Westerwald town of Höhr, now known as Höhr-Grenzhausen.  It is a town of a little under 10,000 people in the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland Palatinate, Germany.  It is still a center for ceramics and has a Ceramics College.  It is known rather unkindly as Kannenbäckerstadt or Jug Baking Town. It also has the Westerwald Ceramics Museum.

This factory was one of West Germany's leading ceramic companies during the 1950s and 60s. They produced a wide range of forms and glazes of good quality, using white clay with quirky styles and colours. Most notable was their “Fat Lava” design.  Key Designers for D&B were Ernst Dümler, Paul Zimmerling, Rudlf Kügler and Rudolf Christmann. The company was successful, but lagged behind maket leaders such as Ruscha or Scheurich.

Peter was the original designer, having been trained by both R. Hanke & S.P. Gerz. In turn Albert, trained by his uncle S.P.Gerz, ran the factory.  Peter died in 1907 and Albert took over running the business, with the help of Bertha, Peter's widow. Peter's son, Paul stepped into his father's shoe's designing the Terra Sigillata range around this time, but his career was regrettably cut short, as he did not return from the First World War.  In 1918, a cousin, Ernst Dümler joined to take his place.  Just before the war, in 1913, Albert had sold his share of the business.  After the war, Albert managed the business of S.P. Gerz  with the help of his sons, Adolf & Hermann.  Albert died in May, 1926 at the age of 65 and Hermann continued the management of S.P.Gerz.  Production finally ceased in 1995.

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