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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Le Sphinx

 Not known
NV Koninklijke Sphinx
Black stamp to base.  The stamp reads; "Parafeu" across the top of the star, "Le Sphinx" across the inside of the star, and "Hollande" between the bottom of the star. 
Glazed slip
Small lidded ramekin with stem handle.  Graduated mustard coloured glaze, lightening towards base.  Uncoloured  footring with clear gloss glaze to interior. Lid has knob handle in centre
Very Good
No number
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Lid           45gm
Ramekin  75 gm
Salvo Stores October 2013
Rameking Reference Number
SPH 001-112

These tiny ramekins are known as Parafeu Pastry Cups and were made by Royal Shpinx in Maastricht, Holland.  They came in sets of six on a matching tray.  Just what a pastry cup is, I don’t know.  Maastricht is famous for its ceramics, not just Andre Rieu.  The company was founded in 1827 when Petus Regout (1801 to 1878) changed from glass and crystal cutting and grinding to producing ceramics.   He started a glass factory in 1834 and in 1836 he was producing stoneware for the local market in competition with imported English creamware.  He used printed English designs from Stoke on Trent, employed English workers.  Most of their output was elegant tableware, mostly like the famous blue and white Delft ware.

In 1870 his sons took over and the company became  SA Petrus Regout & Co.  At its peak, they employed 7000 people.  In 1925 the glass company separated and merged with Stella to become  Kristalunie.   Adolphe Regout ran the company from 1934 until 1958.  Petrus Regout began making sanitary and hotel ware and in 1958, the company merged with Societe Ceramique  and in 1960 became NV Koninklijke Sphinx.   (In 1958 they were permitted to be called Royal Sphinx.)  Societe Ceramique was started in 1851 by Winand Clermont and Charles Chainaye and was Petrus’ main competitor.  Gustavsberg, a Swedish company took over in 1997 and in 1999, Sanitek, a Finnish company took over.  In 2008, the company went belly-up and production moved to Sweden.  Today they make bathroom products, but only warehousing continued in Maastricht.

1827 to 1870 Perus Regout & Co
1870 to 1899 Petus Regout NV & Co (re-named after his sons took over)
1899 to 1958 NV Sphinx Ceramique v/h Petrus Regout & Co
1958 to 1960 NV Sprinx Ceramique
1960 to 1994 NV Koninklijke Sphinx
1994 to 2001 NV Koninklijke Sphinx Gustavsberg
2001 to 2012 Koninklijke Sphinx BV
2012 to Present Sphinx Maastricht BV