The Szekula Family of Stamp Dealers

This website is dedicated to the Hungarian born stamp dealers Béla, Géza, Eugen and Frank Szekula. After moving to Switzerland each one of them opened his own stamp business with emphasis on international stamp trade. All four were probably rather driven by money than by the love for stamps, and 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 Szekula family.


Charles Szekula

 
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 Antonia 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 A.G.” 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 The “Metropol Briefmarken A.G. (Metropol Stamps Ltd.)” was founded, taking over stamps worth Fr. 7500 from Charles Sekula-Keller in exchange for corporate stock of the same value. In the same year the couple moved to New York. In 1937 Metropol Stamps Limited and its American branch office merged to form the “Intercity Stamp Company”, Port Washington, New York. In 1947 Charles and his wife moved to Santa Fe. With his “Intercity Stamp Company”, now Santa Fe, New Mexico, he continued to sell stamps until at least the early 1980s. Charles “Chas” Sekula died on July 25, 1996 at the age of 86.

1933 Offer

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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1934-08-01 Cover

Sent on August 1, 1934 to New York, USA.

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1934-08-07 Offer

Envelope sent on August 7, 1934 to Ingelsträde, Sweden.

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1934-09 Postcard

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

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1934-10 Postcard

Sent on October 12, 1934 to Osijek, Yugoslavia (today in Croatia).

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1935 Cover

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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1936-09 Covers

Two covers to the short-lived Metropol Stamps Ltd. in Lucerne:

Cover sent registered on September 16, 1936 from Lima, Peru.
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Cover sent registered on September 26, 1936 from Unity, Saskatchewan, Canada.
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1939–1944 FDCs

Prepared by “Intercity Stamp Company,” New York.

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1941 Cover

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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1944-04 Cover

Censored cover sent registered on April 3, 1944, from Lausanne to Charles Sekula in Port Washington, New York, USA.

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Scans provided by Max Brack.

1982-12 Postcard

Advertising postcard sent on December 12, 1982 from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA to Clayton, New Jersey.

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