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.


Tibor & Gabor Szekula

 
Newspaper ad
Newspaper ad (Le Rhône December 1941)
Tibor Sekula advertisement
Tibor Sekula ad
(Freiburger Nachrichten

October 1946)
In April 1937, when it became apparent that Géza Sekula would be forced to give up his business, his two oldest sons Tibor-Laszlo (born March 18, 1911 in Budapest) and Gabor Stephan (born September 13, 1913 in Lucerne) founded the “Capitol Briefmarken A.G. (Capitol Stamps Ltd.) (Capitol Timbres-postes S.A.)” at their father's address Werchlaubengasse 2, taking over stamps worth Fr. 5000 from unspecified sellers in exchange for corporate stock of the same value. Sole board member was Tibor Sekula. Only half a year later the company moved to Lausanne, Rue du Grand-Chêne 6, now operating as “Capitol Timbres-postes S.A. (Capitol Stamps Ltd.)” with Tibor as director and Gabor as authorized signatory. In March 1940 the brothers swapped their positions, and four months later Tibor left the company.
Around 1949, Gabor was replaced as director but remained in the company until 1954 when he was sentenced to one year on probation for an offence against property. After eighteen years in the stamp trade Capitol Stamps Ltd. was closed in February 1955. At that time, Gabor was already working for a major company in Zurich, organizing the sale of home appliances. After some initial success he had to leave due to his sales tactics involving gangs of dubious door-to-door salesmen. On April 26, 1956 he founded his own company for selling white goods, the MASEK AG (MAchines SEKula Inc.) – a business that was fraudulent from the start. After little more than a year, in August 1957, MASEK went bankrupt, under circumstances that would lead to Gabor’s second conviction. In 1962, the then 48 year old was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, a fine of 400 SFr. and four years of loss of honor.
There is little evidence as to Tibor’s activities immediately after he left Capitol Stamps, but in 1946 he suddenly showed up in Geneva selling stamps again – on a much smaller scale and probably not as a full time stamp dealer. However, like Gabor he eventually switched to another line of trade, but without getting in conflict with the law: From 1960 to 1972 Tibor was the owner of the furniture shop “T.-L. Sekula” in Geneva.

Postcard — April 1939

Advertising postcard sent on April 4, 1939 from Lausanne to Calcutta, India.

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Postcard — May 1939

Advertising postcard sent on May 2, 1939 from Lausanne to Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA.

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Postcard — December 1942

Censored advertising postcard sent on December 15, 1942 from Lausanne to Aarhus, Denmark.

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Cover — 1944

Sent registered on May 6, 1944 from Karhumäki, occupied by the Finnish army during WW2 (today Medvezhyegorsk, Russia), to Gabor Sekula, director of Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Scan provided by Max Brack.

Cover — March 1947

Sent registered on March 25, 1947 from Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Capitol Stamps Ltd., Lausanne.

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Cover — September 20, 1947

Sent on September 20, 1947 from Náchod, Czechoslovakia, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Cover — September 29, 1947

Sent registered on September 29, 1947 from Pamplona, Spain, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Postcard — October 1947

Advertising postcard sent on October 31, 1947 from Lausanne to Georgetown, British Guiana.

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Cover — February 1948

Sent registered on February 7, 1948 from Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Capitol Timbres Poste S.A., Lausanne.

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Cover — March 1948

Sent on March 13, 1948 from Budapest, Hungary, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Cover — May 1948

Sent registered on May 15, 1948 from Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Cover — October 1948

Sent in October 1948 from Ozora, Hungary, to Gabor Sekula, director of Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Cover — October 5, 1948

Sent on October 5, 1948 from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Cover — December 1948

Sent registered in Decenber 1948 from Zbraslav nad Vltavou, Czechoslovakia (today part of Prague, Czech Republic), to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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La Coruña Cover — February 15, 1949

Sent on February 15, 1949 from La Coruña, Spain, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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Melilla Cover — February 15, 1949

Sent registered on February 15, 1949 from Melilla, Spain, to Capitol Stamp Ltd., Lausanne.

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