The Szekula Family of Stamp Dealers

EN / DE

This website is dedicated to the Hungarian born stamp dealers Béla, Géza, Eugen and Frank Sekula. Each one of them ran his own stamp business with emphasis on international stamp trade, most likely driven by money rather than the love of stamps. All four assumed Swiss nationality and were at one time based in Lucerne. Especially Béla’s creative business ideas provoked more than one philatelic scandal during his career. However, the history of philately would arguably be poorer without the Sekula brothers.


Charles Sekula

 
Magazine ad
What are the gems of every stamp collection?
(Rossica 1933)
Stamp ad 1982
Advertisement on postcard, 1982
Charles Sekula was born in Budapest as Karl Béla Szekula to Béla Szekula and Antónia Heller on March 30, 1910. In late 1930 he joined the management of his father’s stamp wholesale Béla Sekula, Cosmophilatelist. In 1931 he also became an authorized signatory at the Cosmophilatelist AG corporation shortly after its foundation. At the same time he was still in the Swiss army where he achieved the rank of lieutenant. After abusing a number of (sick) recruits who didn’t perform to his satisfaction in March 1932 he was sentenced to 10 days confinement. Subsequently, he concentrated on a civilian career in the stamp trade. In 1935 he married Elsa Keller (1915–1989) in London. In January 1936 Charles founded the Metropol Briefmarken AG (Metropol Stamps Ltd.), taking over stamps worth Fr. 7500 from his own holdings in exchange for equivalent shares in the company. In the same year the couple moved to New York. In 1937, Charles merged the Metropol Stamps Limited and its American branch office into the Intercity Stamp Company, Port Washington, New York. On December 17, 1941, his son Jeffrey Charles was born. In 1947, the family and the company moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. On September 15, 1952, Charles and Elsa had their second child, daughter Anne Marie. With another mouth to feed, the stamp trade alone probably did not bring in enough to support the family. In any case, Charles started taking on other jobs for a while, at least for a time during the 1950s. For example, from the summer of 1952 he was manager of the La Posada restaurant in Santa Fe, and later he worked as secretary-treasurer of the Basic Matericals Inc. With his Intercity Stamp Company he was nevertheless continuously active as a stamp dealer until at least the early 1980s. Charles Chas Sekula died in Knoxville, Tennessee, on July 25, 1996, at the age of 86.
Unlike his father, Charles Sekula seems to have developed a real interest in stamps: In his obituary he was called a Santa Fe philatelist since 1947.


Cover — November 12, 1932

Registered mail sent on November 12, 1932, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Saint-Raphaël, France. Arrived on November 14, 1932.

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Cover — January 31, 1933

Registered mail sent on January 31, 1933, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Saint-Raphaël, France. Arrived on February 1, 1933.

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Cover — March 18, 1933

Registered mail sent on March 18, 1933, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Saint-Raphaël, France. Arrived on March 20, 1933.

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Cover — August 1, 1933

This envelope from 1933 still contained the material accompanying a stamp lot offered to a customer in Rosario, Argentina: the invoice, a cover letter and a questionnaire (front and back shown).

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Cover — August 1, 1934

Sent on August 1, 1934, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to New York City, United States. Arrived on August 1, 1934.

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Cover — August 7, 1934

Registered mail sent on August 7, 1934, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Swedish: Björneborg (=Pori), Finland. Arrived on August 11, 1934.

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Offer — August 7, 1934

Registered mail sent on August 7, 1934, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Ingelsträde, Sweden. Arrived on August 7, 1934.

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Postcard — September 8, 1934

Sent on September 8, 1934, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Lipolec, Czechoslovakia (today Czech Republic).

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Postcard — October 12, 1934

Sent on October 12, 1934, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Osijek, Yugoslavia (today Croatia).

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Cover — November 23, 1934

Registered mail sent on November 23, 1934, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to New York City, United States. Arrived on December 5, 1934.

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Cover — March 25, 1935

Registered philatelic cover sent on March 25, 1935 from Turan, Tannu Tuva, to Charles Sekula. Franked with Scott #54-60 / Michel #59-65. LUZERN 2 arrival postmark on back dated 12.IV.35.

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Offer — August 29, 1935

Registered mail sent on August 29, 1935, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Ingelsträde, Sweden. Arrived Ingelsträde.

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Cover — October 31, 1935

Registered mail sent on October 31, 1935, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to New York City, United States. Arrived on November 8, 1935.

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Cover — April 14, 1936

Registered mail sent on April 14, 1936, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Myerstown, Pennsylvania, United States.

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Cover — September 16, 1936

Registered mail sent on September 16, 1936, from Lima, Peru, to Lucerne, Switzerland.

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Cover — September 26, 1936

Registered mail sent on September 26, 1936, from Unity, Saskatchewan, Canada, to Lucerne, Switzerland.

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Cover — November 1936

Registered mail sent in November 1936 from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Perh Amboy, New Jersey, United States. Arrived on November 28, 1936.

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Cover — July 19, 1938

Sent on July 19, 1938, from Valdivia, Chile, to Port Washington, New York, United States.

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FDCs — 1939 – 1944

Mimeographed cachets created by the Intercity Stamp Company, Port Washington, Long Island, New York.

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1939, April 1. New York World’s Fair. Sc #853, Mi #448.
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1939, April 30. Sesquisentennial of George Washington’s inauguration. Sc #854, Mi #449.
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1939, August 15. 25th anniversary of Panama Canal opening. Sc #856, Mi #452.
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1939, September 25. 300th anniversary of printing in Colonial America. Sc #857, Mi #453.
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1940, January 29. Famous Americans: Washington Irving (1783–1859). Sc #859, Mi #455.
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1940, February 5. Famous Americans: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1862). Sc #861, Mi #457.
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1940, March 14. Famous Americans: Horace Mann (1796–1859). Sc #869, Mi #465.
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1940, March 28. Famous Americans: Charles W. Eliot (1834–1926). Sc #871, Mi #467.
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1940, April 8. Famous Americans: John James Audubon (1785–1851). Sc #874, Mi #470.
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1940, April 17. Famous American: Luther Burbank (1849–1926). Sc #876, Mi #472.
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1940, May 3. Famous Americans: Stephen Collins Foster (1826–1864). Sc #879, Mi #475.
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1940, May 13. Famous Americans: Victor Herbert (1859–1924). Sc #881, Mi #477.
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1940, July 10. 50th anniversary of Wyoming statehood. Sc #897, Mi #493.
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1940, September 5. Famous Americans: James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903). Sc #885, Mi #481.
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1940, September 7. 400th anniversary of the Coronado Expedition. Sc #898, Mi #494.
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1940, October 7. Famous Americans: Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872). Sc #890, Mi #486.
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1940, October 7. Famous Americans: Eli Whitney (1765–1825). Sc #889, Mi #485.
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1940, October 14. Famous Americans: Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884). Sc #891, Mi #487.
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1940, October 16. National defense: Torch of Enlightenment. Sc #901, Mi #497.
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1940, October 20. 75th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the U.S.A. Sc #902, Mi #498.
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1942, April 15. Dedication of Post Office MacArthur, WV, in honor of General Douglas MacArthur.
Franked with Sc #894, Mi #490 (80th anniversary of the Pony Express, issued on April 3, 1940).
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1942, June 1. 150th anniversary of Kentucky statehood. Sc #904, Mi #507.
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1942, July 4. Win the War. Sc #905, Mi #508.
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1943, February 12. Announcement of the Four Freedoms. Sc #908, Mi #511.
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1943, September 28. Overrun countries: France. Sc #915, Mi #515.
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1943, October 26. Overrun countries: Yugoslavia. Sc #917, Mi #517.
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1943, November 9. Overrun countries: Albania. Sc #918, Mi #512.
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1943, November 23. Overrun countries: Austria. Sc #919, Mi #522.
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1943, December 7. Overrun countries: Denmark. Sc #920, Mi #514.
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1944, May 22. 125th anniversary of the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Sc #923, Mi #526.
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1944, September 27. Resistance of the Philippine island Corregidor. Sc #925, Mi #528.
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1944, October 31. 50th anniversary of motion pictures. Sc #926, Mi #531.



Cover — September 4, 1940

Registered mail sent on September 4, 1940, from Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico, to Port Washington, New York, United States. Arrived on September 10, 1940.

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Cover — February 19, 1941

Sent on February 19, 1941 by Atlas Stamp Ltd. (Eugen Sekula) to Intercity Stamp Company in Port Washington, New York, USA.

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Cover — July 17, 1943

Registered airmail sent on July 17, 1943, from Ovingdean, Brighton, Sussex, England, to Port Washington, New York, United States. Arrived on August 5, 1943.

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Cover — November 3, 1943

Registered mail sent on November 3, 1943, from Rottingdean, England, to Port Washington, New York, United States. Arrived on November 26, 1943.

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Cover — April 3, 1944

Registered mail sent on April 3, 1944, from Lausanne, Switzerland, to Port Washington, New York, United States.

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Scans provided by Max Brack.


Covers — October 1945

Airmail sent in October 1945 from Trelleborg, Sweden, to Port Washington, New York, United States.

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Postcard — September 12, 1969

Sent on September 12, 1969, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Postcard — December 12, 1982

Sent on December 12, 1982, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, to Clayton, New Jersey.

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