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, likely driven by their business acumen rather than a particular preference for philately.
All four assumed Swiss nationality and were based in Lucerne side by side for years.
Especially Béla’s business ideas provoked more than one scandal during his career.
However, the history of philately would arguably be poorer without the Sekula brothers.
Géza Sekula (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 – on one occasion a newspaper article referred to him as a journalist.
However, when his elder 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 eldest 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 10, 1905
Sent on June 10, 1905, from Budapest, Hungary, to Naumur, Belgium. Arrived on June 11, 1905.
Scans provided by David Rossall.
Cover — July 1, 1912
Registered mail sent on July 1, 1912, from Budapest, Hungary, to Paris, France. Arrived on July 3, 1912.
Postal Card — March 5, 1914
Sent on March 5, 1914, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Essen, Germany.
Double Reply Card — April 4, 1914
Sent on April 4, 1914, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Bar-le-Duc, France. Arrived on April 5, 1914.
Wrapper — May 25, 1915
Wrapper for Géza’s house organ Schweizer Philatelistisches Offertenblatt sent on May 25, 1915 from Lucerne to Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany.
Scans provided by David Rossall.
Cover — September 1, 1915
Registered mail sent on September 1, 1915, from Moscow, Russia, to Lucerne, Switzerland. Arrived on September 15, 1915.