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.


Géza Szekula

 
Red 10 Pf stamp
Géza Szekula “postmark”
on Prussian stamp of 1903
Newspaper ad
Ad. for Austrian reprints (Rossica 1934)
Géza Szekula, born on February 17, 1886 in Szeged, is probably the least known of the four. From 1905 to 1912 he lived in Geneva. In May 1913 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. In late 1938 he joined the stamp company of his sons Tibor and Gabor, Capitol Stamps Ltd. in Lausanne.

1921-06 Cover

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

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1923?-05 Wrapper

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

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1926 Cover

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

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1929 Postcard

Sent on November 30, 1929 to Casablanca, Morocco.

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1930 Cover

Sent on August 1, 1930 to Duchcov, Czechoslovakia.

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1931-06 Cover

Sent registered in June 1931 to Bad Homburg, Germany.

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1931-10 Cover

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

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1931-12 Cover

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

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1932-03-28 Cover

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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1933-06 Cover

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

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1935-08 Cover

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

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