Ivan Koršič’s Postcard Album (MMP)

  Maritime Museum of Piran

Ivan Koršič (1870–1941), a military chaplain in the Austro-Hungarian navy who achieved the rank of a naval superior, was an avid collector of postcards. His legacy, kept by the Maritime Museum ‘Sergej Mašera’ Piran, comprises as many as seven albums of postcards and photographs. These include an album of 96 postcards from East Asia, dating from between 1904 and 1913. Koršič himself never travelled to East Asia, but received postcards from acquaintances and friends who sailed there on Austro-Hungarian navy ships, and whom he had met while serving at the central base in Pula. Most of the postcards were sent – in addition to personal messages, they still feature seals and stamps, if these were not removed in later periods. As many as 69 were written to Koršič by Zvonimir Ožegović von Barlabaševec, a mechanical engineering non-commissioned officer, on his two trips to East Asia. The blank postcards were either sent in a package or brought by people in person.

The postcards are kept in a 24-page album with black lacquered wooden covers, decorated with a mother-of-pearl motif of three Japanese women. The album was manufactured in Japan as an export product for the European market. Most of the postcards were sent or brought from China and Japan, some originate from Korea, while some of them come from other Asian ports where ships bound for East Asia made a stop. The postcards mostly depict famous sights, street scenes and local clothing culture, while quite some of them also show ports, warships and various military infrastructure.

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