|Mary Jane's biscuit tin, made by Phoenix Biscuit Co, Melbourne. The lid.|
|A side view of Mary Jane's biscuit tin.|
The earliest trace of the Phoenix Biscuit Co in Trove is an advertisement for "girls" to do packing and icing of biscuits.
Advertising (1899, January 24). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189688521
The company doesn't appear in the closest Sands & McDougall Directory I have available, 1897, so the advertisement in 1899 is probably close to the beginning of the business. The next one available, 1904, shows the following entry for the company, with M Condon as the proprietor:
Biscuit & Cake Manufacturers.
PHOENIX BISCUIT CO. (M. Condon),
Wholesale Biscuit & Cake
Manufacturers, Grosvenor street,
Abbotsford. Tel. 2599
The paint on the tin is well worn on the front edge of the lid, and has flaked off all over, but the remaining colours are still bright. Comparing it with images of biscuit tins on the net, it would appear to date to the period 1910-1920.