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 (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.
Scans provided by David Rossall.
Postal Card — March 5, 1914
Sent on March 5, 1914, from Lucerne to Essen, Germany.
Double Reply Card — April 4, 1914
Sent on April 4, 1914 to Bar-le-Duc, France.
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
Sent registered on September 1, 1915 (August 19 in the Julian calendar) from Moscow, Russia, to Lucerne.