The Szekula Family of Stamp Dealers

This website is dedicated to the Hungarian born stamp dealers Béla, Géza, Eugen and Frank Szekula. 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 Szekula brothers.


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 – on one occasion a newspaper article referred to him as a 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 10, 1905

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

item item
Scans provided by David Rossall.


Postal Card — March 5, 1914

Sent on March 5, 1914, from Lucerne to Essen, Germany.

item item


Double Reply Card — April 4, 1914

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

item item


Wrapper — May 25, 1915

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

item item
Scans provided by David Rossall.


Cover — September 1, 1915

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

item item
REM
Neue Zürcher Nachrichten
July 27, 1917


Cover — March 19, 1918

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

item item


Cover — April 24, 1918

Local cover sent registered within Lucerne on April 24, 1918.

item item


Cover — February 9, 1920

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

item item


Cover — June 14, 1921

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

item item
REM
Helsingin Sanomat
October 8, 1921


Cover — January 13, 1922

Sent on January 13, 1922, from Lucerne to Ludwigslust, Germany.

item item


Wrapper — 1923 or later

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

item
REM
The Business Educator
March 1924


Cover — July 6, 1926

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

item
REM
Zürcher Illustrierte
September 27, 1926


Parcel Registration Card — December 17, 1926

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

item item
REM
Nidwaldner Volksblatt
December 17, 1927


Cover — March 27, 1929

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

item item


Postcard — November 30, 1929

Sent on November 30, 1929 to Casablanca, Morocco.

item item


Cover — January 10, 1930

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

item


Postcard — January 25, 1930

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

item item


Cover — May 13, 1930

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

item item


Cover — August 1, 1930

Sent on August 1, 1930 to Duchcov, Czechoslovakia.

item


Cover — October 4, 1930

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

item item


Cover — March 1931

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

item


Cover — June 1931

Sent registered in June 1931 to Bad Homburg, Germany.

item item


Postcard — August 6, 1931

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

item item


Cover — October 24, 1931

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

item item


Covers — November 7, 1931 to December 18, 1931

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

item item item item


Cover — December 20, 1931

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

item


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).

item


Postcard — April 18, 1932

Sent on April 18, 1932 to Oujda, Morocco.

item item


Cover — February 1, 1933

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

item item


Cover — February 15, 1933

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

item item


Cover — March 4, 1933

Sent registered on March 4, 1933, from Port Sudan, Sudan, to Lucerne. Cover signed Diena.

item item


Cover — June 20, 1933

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

item item


Cover — June 9, 1934

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

item item


Envelope — 1935

Géza Sekula prepaid and addressed return envelope ca. 1935.

item


Cover — March 27, 1935

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

item item


Cover — August 12, 1935

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

item item


Postcard — December 1935

Sent in December 1935 to Leonard, Texas, USA.

item item


Postcard — March 22, 1937

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

item item


Postcard — July 16, 1937

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

item item