Historical information

This is a tea tin from the business of Rolfe and Co., a wholesale grocery and importing business founded in Melbourne in 1854 by George Rolfe Senior, a merchant and politician. George Rolfe died in 1871 and the business was then run by his son, George Rolfe, Junior. The business continued until at least the late 1930s. George Rolfe (1836-1919) was a keen sportsman and he began holidaying in Warrnambool for some years in the 1870s when he started buying land in the area. By the early 1880s Rolfe owned 50 acres in Warrnambool and established his holiday residence at Lyndoch near the mouth of the Hopkins River. He improved the original site with the addition of a large garden, stables, jetty, boatshed, water well, chaff and bone sheds, reservoir etc and bought other properties including Shipley on the Allansford Road and the adjoining property Fairy Hill. He continued managing the Rolfe and Co. business in Melbourne until his death in 1919. Today Rolfe’s Lyndoch property in Warrnambool is the site of an aged care facility.


This tin is of considerable significance as it is a memento of George Rolfe who established the property of Lyndoch in Warrnambool and was a prominent land holder in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Note that we have another Rolfe tea tin but it is in very poor condition compared to this later acquisition).

Physical description

This is a rectangular-shaped tin with four sides originally painted yellow but now showing considerable rust. The printing on the sides is brown and white, some on a blue background and some surrounded by decorative patterns.

Inscriptions & markings

No. 2
Rolfe & Co. Ltd 286-300 King St. Melbourne
Rolfe’s Tea
Rolfe and Co. was established at Melbourne in 1854. Ever since then it has enjoyed an enviable reputation as a firm which supplies to the public goods of the highest quality.