- "The tapestry looked immensely old; it was faded and looked as though Doxys had gnawed it in places. Nevertheless, the golden thread with which it was embroidered still glinted brightly enough to show them a sprawling family tree dating back (as far as Harry could tell) to the Middle Ages. Large words at the very top of the tapestry read: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black 'Toujours pur'."
The Black Family Tapestry was a tapestry depicting the Black family tree. It was made in the 13th century, by early members of the family, containing family members dating back to the Middle Ages. The current owner is Harry Potter, as he is the owner of 12 Grimmauld Place, the only known location of the Tapestry.
- "En Stirps Nobilis et Gens Antiquissima Black"
- —Latin inscription framing the tapestry, translating to "Behold the Noble Lineage and Oldest Clan Black"[src]
The Black family tree tapestry was created around the 13th century by the wealthy, pure-blood Wizarding family, the House of Black. The tree began in the Middle Ages, and recorded all siblings, spouses, descendants, and even cousins of members of the family, although none of these older names are known, with the earliest Black known to be on the tree was Licorus Black, who lived around the 1820s. Where the tapestry was located in these earlier times is unknown, but it was passed down to subsequent generations of Blacks, and found its place at 12 Grimmauld Place, home of the last living members of the family by the late twentieth century. A Permanent Sticking Charm was placed on the wall in Grimmauld Place.
The tapestry was in the Black family for seven centuries, being passed down to descendants through the ages, finding its way into their homes, and by most members of the family it was treated as an object of reverance, representing their pure-blood heritage, which the House of Black held in great esteem. Despite this general respect of the object, some Blacks, the earliest known being Eduardus Limette, and the most recent being Sirius Black III were disowned for various reasons; supporting Muggle rights, being Squibs, fraternising with other disowned people, etc., and treated the item with resentment and direspect.
During the mid-twentieth century, Walburga Black, mother of some of the last members of the family, was in charge of blasting off the tapestry images of the disowned members of the family. She was known to have, in around 1976, burned off her eldest son, as well as her own brother for giving Sirius a "decent amount of gold". Walburga was presumably responsible for most of the removals, but some family members, such as Iola Black, were disowned before her birth, hinting that others took this job at one point.
Disowned members of the family had their images burnt off the tapestry and their descendants’ names were not even included on the tree. Disowned members’ birth/death dates were never even recorded on the tree.
Known disowned family members are Eduardus Limette Black (unknown reason), Iola Black (for marrying Muggle Bob Hitchens), Cedrella Black (for marrying blood traitor Septimus Weasley), Phineas Black (for supporting Muggle rights), Marius Black (for being a Squib), Andromeda Tonks (for marrying Muggle-born wizard Ted Tonks), Sirius Black III (for running away from his family’s house, being sorted into Gryffindor and not believing in the notion of blood purity), and Alphard Black (for giving Sirius gold after he had been disowned).
Behind the scenes
- The likenesses of some of the Black family members featured on the tapestry in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix seem to have been based on the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, currently in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. This set of tapestries originally belonged to the Duke of Devonshire, the owner of Hardwick Hall, the house on which the Harry Potter set designers based Malfoy Manor.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- The Art of Harry Potter Mini Book of Graphic Design