Jacob Balthazar was an artist, specialising in primitive ethnic wood carvings.
Balthazar made an imitation copy of the Arumbayan Idol for Ramon Bada and Alonso Perez. He was murdered by Rodrigo Tortilla to keep him quiet. Tortilla then turned on a gas pipe on to make it look accidental. His parrot survives, however, and gives Tintin the clue he needs to realise that Balthazar's death was no accident. He lived in an apartment at 21 London Road. His brother, Simon Balthazar is a local businessman who later aids Tintin in finding the idol. It turns out that Balthazar not only made one copy, but two, and for some reason, that was never explained, Tortilla got a copy, while the real Idol ended among Balthazar's belongings, which Simon inherited.