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< back to the BELMAL News index                                                           BELMAL NEWS JANUARY 2016


Amazing discovery: the azure and chequered pattern more than 2000 years old     


Belmal Conservatory (Belgium). Continued historical research. Theme : damier (chequy). 



News in brief (info flash). January 2016. Last month, while undertaking new historical research related to the existence and the use of the chequered pattern across the centuries, Jean-Pierre Bal (the master-craftsman at Belmal) made an unexpected discovery. The azure and gold chequy pattern, believed to be originating from France or perhaps Britain, and of the 11th or 12th century, now proves to be twice as old. As can be seen above, the pattern was already in use before our common era, namely in Ancient Egypt. The fortuitous reading of a documentation about the sale, by a renowned auction house, of that mask dating back to the 1st century BC, constituted a major breakthrough in the research about the origin of that given pattern and its specific colours. Azure and gold, of pharaohs, is also found on the Belmal escutcheon. When in Venice, some seven years ago,  JP Bal spotted a type of cloth with the precise same pattern and shades that went on to become the emblematic logo of the Belmal House. Our craftsman-malletier had since endeavoured to pierce the mystery of the fascinating pattern-colour combination of which he sensed the root-origin would be in or near the Middle East. Time has now proven him right. The fabulous destiny of the said Belmal damier has thus opened a new chapter of travel through time, or we should say: timeless odyssey.  


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