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 Lucerne in Switzerland each one of them opened his own stamp business with emphasis on international stamp trade. All four brothers were probably driven by money rather than the love of 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 considerably poorer without the Szekula family.


Géza Szekula

 
Red 10 Pf stamp
Géza Szekula postmark
on Prussian stamp of 1903
Newspaper ad
Ad. for Austrian reprints (Rossica 1934)
Géza Szekula (1886–1946), born on February 17, 1886 in Szeged, is probably the least known of the four. From 1903 to 1904 he lived at Béla’s place, the Villa Philatélie, in Geneva. Initially, the main reason for his stay in the French speaking city was probably to learn the languange, and not the stamp business, as on one occasion he was referred to as journalist. However, when his older brother left Geneva he went back with him to Budapest where he followed in his footsteps, as an employee in Béla’s company and as publisher of a philatelic advertising magazine, the Philatelistisches Offertenblatt. In early 1913 he returned with Béla to Switzerland, and in May of that year he started his own Briefmarken-Grosshandlung (= stamp wholesale business) Géza Szekula in Lucerne at Alpenstrasse 3. On March 2, 1914 he married Elisabeth Rudolfine Gusenbauer in Lucerne. On August 26, 1918 Géza became a naturalized Swiss citizen of Geuensee. In October 1919 he closed his Briefmarkengrosshandlung at Alpenstrasse 3 and reopened at Dreilindenstrasse 17. Like Béla and Eugen he changed the spelling of his name to Sekula in March 1923. During the next ten years Géza’s business address changed three more times: Sälihügel 7 (January 4, 1927), Brunnhalde 14 (January 15, 1932) and Werchlaubengasse 2 (September 26, 1934). Apparently, he was not involved in any scandal until 1937 when the Federation of Philatelic Societies of Switzerland (Verband der Schweizerischen Philatelisten-Vereine) filed a lawsuit against him and his oldest son Tibor for selling forged Turkish 25 piastre stamps of 1884 and 1888. Géza had probably bought the stamps in good faith himself, but he made the mistake of selling them as guaranteed genuine. While his son was acquited of the charges Géza was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in prison and loss of honor. On September 2, 1937 the stamp wholesale Géza Sekula was deleted from the company register. After having served two thirds of his sentence Géza was released early for good conduct on July 19, 1938 and joined his wife and children in Lausanne. Géza Sekula died on April 13, 1946 in Lausanne at age 60, after a severe and long illness.

Postcard — June 1905

Postcard sent on June 10, 1905 from Budapest to Naumur, Belgium.

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Scans provided by David Rossall.

Double Reply Card — April 1914

Sent on April 4, 1914 to Bar-le-Duc, France.

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Wrapper — May 1915

Wrapper for Géza’s house organ “Schweizer Philatelistisches Offertenblatt” sent on May 25, 1915 from Lucerne to Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany.

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Scans provided by David Rossall.

Cover — September 1915

Sent registered on September 1, 1915 (August 19 in the Julian calendar) from Moscow, Russia, to Lucerne.

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Cover — March 1918

Sent registered on March 19, 1918, from Lucerne to Meierskappel.

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Cover — February 1920

Sent registered on February 9, 1920 from Leepaja, Latvia to Lucerne.

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Cover — June 1921

Sent registered on June 14, 1921 to London, UK.

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Wrapper — 1923 ?

Newspaper wrapper sent on May 28, 1923? or later from Harper, Liberia to Lucerne.

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Cover — July 1926

Sent on July 6 to Ludwigslust, Germany. Arrival PM July 7 on back.

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Parcel Registration Card — December 1926

Sent on December 17, 1926 with shipment from Leipzig, Germany to Lucerne.

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Cover — March 1929

Sent registered on March 27, 1929 from Lucerne to Cottbus, Germany.

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Postcard — November 1929

Sent on November 30, 1929 to Casablanca, Morocco.

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Cover — January 1930

Sent registered via airmail on January 10, 1930 from Lucerne to Miroslav, Czechoslovakia (today Czech Republic).

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Postcard — January 1930

Sent on January 25, 1930 to Eichwald, Bohemia, Germany (today Dubí, Czech Republic).

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Cover — May 1930

Sent registered on May 13, 1930 to Newtonville, Massachusetts, USA.

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Cover — August 1, 1930

Sent on August 1, 1930 to Duchcov, Czechoslovakia.

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Cover — October 4, 1930

Sent as registered air mail on October 4, 1930 to Berlin, Germany.

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Cover — March 1931

Sent in March 1931 from Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, to Géza Sekula in Lucerne.

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Cover — June 1931

Sent registered in June 1931 to Bad Homburg, Germany.

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Postcard — August 1931

Sent on August 6, 1931 to Steinach, Thuringia, Germany.

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Cover — October 1931

Sent registered on October 24, 1931 to Dresden, Germany.

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Covers — November 1931 to December 1931

Two covers sent from Géza’s PO box in November and December 1931 from Lucerne to Saint-Vigor-le-Grand, France.

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Cover — December 1931

Sent on December 20, 1931 from Liepaja, Latvia, to Lucerne.

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Cover — March 28, 1932

Sent on March 28, 1932 from Los Angeles, California, USA, to Lucerne (total of 13c for 5c surface overseas + 8c air supplement).

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Postcard — April 1932

Sent on April 18, 1932 to Oujda, Morocco.

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Cover — February 1, 1933

Sent registered on February 1, 1933 from Tokyo, Japan to Lucerne.

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Cover — February 25, 1933

Registered cover sent “anonymously” (only sender info is Geza’s PO box 19045) on February 25, 1933 to Görlitz, Silesia (today Saxony), Germany.

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Cover — June 1933

Sent registered on June 20, 1933 from Medan, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), to Lucerne.

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Cover — June 1934

Sent registered on June 9, 1934 from Alexandria, Egypt, to Lucerne.

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Envelope — 1935

“Géza Sekula” prepaid and addressed return envelope ca. 1935.

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Cover — March 1935

Sent as express shipment on March 27, 1935 to Gossau, St. Gallen.

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Cover — August 1935

Sent registered on August 12, 1935 from Surabaja, East Java, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), to Lucerne.

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Postcard — December 1935

Sent in December 1935 to Leonard, Texas, USA.

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Postcard — March 1937

Payment reminder sent on March 22, 1937 from Lucerne to San Antonio Suchitepéquez, Guatemala.

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Postcard — July 1937

Payment reminder sent on July 16, 1937 from Lucerne to Palestine.

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