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Published August 29, 2022 Updated August 29, 2022

Le Jeu Sétois

A celebration of the town of Sète and its famous water jousting tournaments.

2006 France Michel Cros Sports Add to Collection
Le Jeu Sétois designed by Mer Cross, 2006

Painter and sculptor Michel Cros (aka “Mer Cross”) created this non-standard pack to celebrate his native town, Sète. Apart from being the birthplace of Georges Brassens, Sète is also famous for its fishing port and for the jousting tournaments (first held in 1666) which take place several times a year on the Canal Royal. Fish and jousting sit side by side in this pack with its suits of shields (pavois), seafood pies (tielle), scorpion fish (rascasse), and lance tips (epure). In each suit, one background colour is used for the court cards and a different one for the pip cards. The Joker is an octopus (poufre). Each one-eyed court card is named after a local character (Marius, Fany, Achile, etc.). Ragged borders (representing waves?). On the box one can read “54 Cartes qui sentent le poisson” (54 cards which smell of fish!). Thought to have been produced in an edition of 1,200 packs. See the box

Le Jeu Sétois designed by Mer Cross, 2006 Le Jeu Sétois designed by Mer Cross, 2006 Le Jeu Sétois designed by Mer Cross, 2006

Above: Le Jeu Sétois designed by Mer Cross, unknown maker, France, 2006. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 2 extra cards in tuck box. Size: 63 x 100 mm (Spanish format). Mer Cross © 2006.


Some photos of the water jousting tournament taken in August 2018. The opposing team's boats are always coloured red and blue.

Sète water jousting tournament, 2018 Sète water jousting tournament, 2018

Above: photo credit Roddy Somerville © 2018.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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