Bela Szekula (philatelic forger)


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I don't have much information concerning the forger Bela Szekula (often spelt Sekula, he might have changed his name in Switzerland; source: According to 'Philatelic Forgers, their Lives and Works' of Varro Tyler, Bela Szekula was born in Budapest in 1881 and moved to Geneva in 1902. He moved back to Budapest in 1904, but by 1916, he returned to Switzerland (now in Luzern).
I've also seen a letter from a certain stamp dealer Eugen Sekula from Luzern (his brother). I also saw a postcard from Geza Sekula (another brother and also a stamp dealer in Luzern, he appears to have been called Charles Sekula sometimes).

I do know that this forger made at least forgeries of the following stamps:

* Dominican Republic: 1902 commemorative issue, remainders with forged cancels applied by him.

* Guatemala: forgeries of the 1 Peso 1878 Indian Woman issue; offered by him as 'reprints'.

Distinguishing characteristics of the Szekula forgery, left forgery, right genuine pattern

I've been told that all the above 1 P stamps are Szekula forgeries.

* Bolivia, fraudulent printings of the 1894 issue.

* Ethiopia: reprint-forgeries of the 1919 issue, offered as guaranteed genuine in used and unused condition. Also with 'errors', such as inverted or missing center pieces. See: for more details.

* Bela Szekula also seems to have been 'involved' in the creation of the stamps of Touva (Tuva).


Letter of Bela Szekula from Luzern (1919) to a stamp collectors club in Kopehagen, Denmark, the 7 1/2 c stamps have 'Bela Szekula Luzern' overprint

Some stamps of Switzerland of 1919 with overprint 'Béla Szekula Luzern' (dealer stamp).

Some other Swiss stamps with the same overprint.

I've seen the same overprint on a 13 c William Tell stamp of Switzerland at:

Orange advertisement label of Bela Szekula, inscription 'BELA SZEKULA BUDAPEST UNGARN HONGRIE INTERN. PHILATELISETEN VERBAND "GENF" IN BUDAPEST', woman looking at stamp collection, with Indochina stamp in foreground. I've seen a similar label in violet with an image of a Liberian 1 c stamp and inscription 'UNTERNEHMUNG DER INTERNATIONALEN PHILATELISTEN BUDAPEST'.

Sekula also issued his own 'private stamps' in 1930 to profit from the philatelic demand these would generate. He used them for a short period of 2 weeks (9 to 21 october 1921) before they were forbidden by the postal authorities. The inscription is 'Gebuhr bezahlt taxe percue Helvetia'. I have seen the following values: 3 c black on yellow, 5 c black on green, 10 c black on violet and 20 c black on red. Tete-beche pairs exist.

Private stamps made by Sekula, "Sekula-Barfreimachungs-Marken"

A reproduction of the letter send by the postal authorities to Eugen Sekula, ordering him to stop using these stamps. On the backside of this document ('Faltblatt') the stamps were pasted. Apparently, this was some kind of an advertisment for his own stamps. I've seen slightly different documents with essentially the same text printed on it.

Label of Eugen Szekula, stamp dealer in Luzern

Forgeries - Timbres-Faux - Fälschungen

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer