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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, August 27, 2018

Saywell Imports

Not Known
Not Known
Embossed oval silver paper adhesive label to base of saucer marked “An Exotic Import by Saywell Imports.”
Moulded glazed slip
Three-piece set of brown single handled bowl with contrasting interior with geometric design to base and unglazed foot ring.  Short dished handle attached to exterior of bowl.
Dish is brown matching gloss glazed slipware, unglazed foot ring.  Swirl pattern in light brown to centre of saucer with matching colour on edge of saucer.
Lid is also gloss glazed in matching two tone brown with patches of lighter brown to two quadrants.
No number
Production Date
Late 1970s / early 1980s
Width at rim 2 sizes
Saucer 146mm
Bowl 93mm
Lid 97mm
Width at Base
Bowl 50mm
Bowl 45mm
Length (with handles)
Saucer 242gm
Bowl 208gm
Lid 128gm
Salvo’s Ballarat
 24 Aug 2018
Rameking Reference Number
SAY 001-012

These ramekins were made in Japan and imported to Australia by Saywell Imports.  Paget Sayers journey in this business began in 1963 when he started Saywell Imports with partner Ian Murray. Initially based in his small home in Woolloomooloo and then Rochford street in Erskinville and later, Wentworth Avenue in Sydney’s CBD (better parking)  Saywell Imports brought a huge variety of household items , sourced worldwide.

Born in the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse during the depression.  Orphaned at age 16 following the death of his mother, his father having died some 5 years earlier.  He began working at various jobs, even at age 19, working on a ship to England and working on an oil tanker and other trips before eventually returning to Sydney.  He worked as a salesman for a couple of years before starting his own business. 

Some of the keys to their success were profit-sharing with the staff, free lunches for staff (only sandwiches) and some of the staff could name their own salary. These strategies were considered novel and enlightened at the time but Paget likes to think it was his "inner-Buddha" nature. It was on an overseas buying trip that Paget discovered Bhuddism.  At its peak, there were about 50 employees. 

Paget is a philanthropist who devotes his time to Your Aid, who deliver charity providing education, clean water and medical services to rural communities in Cambodia and supporting the PAL Buddhist school in Sydney.

Saywell Group,was a long-time highly successful furniture distribution business in Australia and New Zealand. Paget later said “I had a very successful business called Saywell Imports, but when I was 45, I decided that when I hit 50 I’d like to retire. So, when I was 50, I sold the business to a company who ruined it within four years.”  Later, it was sold 2008.  A company called “Saywell Importing” on the Gold Coast is not connected.