1er Festival International de Pétanque

February 13, 2022

Small booklet about the First International Festival of Pétanque, held in 1959 in Vence

I love to play pétanque so I was very excited to find this little brochure at the weekly Wednesday antique market in here Vence. Apparently, this “1st” festival was held on August 19th and 20th, 1959. Was there ever a “2nd” festival? I guess not! I’ve searched and searched on the web but I can’t find any reference to this festival, let alone any subsequent ones. I can only assume it was a one off.

This little brochure is 16 pages (including the covers) and measures about 24mm by 16mm. The paper is a bit yellowed with age, but it’s in very good condition. What’s really special about it is that page two is devoted to a poem and drawing by the famous French poet, playwright, novelist and more, Jean Cocteau. The brochure is numbered on the back. I have number 01177. No telling how many of these were printed, but I can’t imagine there would have been too many. Especially since I can’t find any reference of one anywhere on the web.

The front cover features a nice illustration of the Cathedral bell tower, while the back cover has a very cool wood carving that looks like it was made especially for the festival. Pages 3 and 4 are devoted to the Honor Committee and thank yous. Page 5 has the rules and regulations for the tournament and page 6 features a wonderful little illustration of “Fanny.” (If you know anything about pétanque you know what this is.) Pages 7 and 8 display the schedule for the two days of play. Page 9 lists the prizes for the festival and pages 10 and 11 have some information about Vence. Page 12 is an advertisement for a new apartment building being built on the road to Saint-Paul de Vence. Page 13 has a small paragraph about other things to do in Vence.

   Download a high quality PDF of this booklet (140mb) – very large file, be patient
   Download a very good quality PDF of this booklet (16mb)
   Download a good quality PDF of this booklet (1.5mb)

[click on any image to see sample pages]

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