Sepia-toned portrait of Stella Rehfisch on her wedding day, 19 March 1913, in Ballarat, Victoria.

Stella was the daughter of Charlotte and Hermann Rehfisch, said to have been the first Jewish couple to marry in the small town of Hamilton, Victoria. They married in the Masonic Hall as a substitute for a synagogue. Hermann became a wool broker and skin and hide merchant in Ballarat, trading as H. Rehfisch & Co.

Stella was one of four children raised in a genteel household, and was a talented violin student. She studied violin under Walter Gude, a well-known local musician, teacher and conductor of St Patrick's cathedral choir and orchestra in Ballarat. Walter was an older man who had never married, and supported his widowed mother and sister. At the age of 42 he fell in love with the 27-year-old Stella. They were to have a long and happy marriage.

Their wedding took place on 19 March 1913 at a Methodist church in Ballarat. Stella and Walter raised two daughters, Eleanor (Nornie) and Gilda, in Ballarat before moving to Melbourne on the eve of World War II. Both of their daughters were artistic, and Nornie's paintings are now held in collections including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Parliament House collection, Canberra. Walter passed away in 1949; Stella passed away six years later.

Description of Content

Sepia-toned portrait of bride, seated sideways but looking towards camera, slightly over her right shoulder. She wears a white garment with short sleeves and square neckline, and a long veil pinned to her dark hair with a small posy above each ear. She wears a simple bracelet on her right wrist, and holds a bouquet of pale flowers.

Physical Description

Sepia tone, adhered to brown cardboard backing, with paper glued to backing providing basic provenance. Backing board has curved and has extensive foxing.

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