"All he could tell was that he was standing in the stone fireplace of what looked like a large, dimly lit wizard's shop — but nothing in here was ever likely to be on a Hogwarts school list. A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a blood-stained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looking masks stared down from the walls, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling. Even worse, the dark, narrow street Harry could see through the dusty shop window was definitely not Diagon Alley."
—Harry's first experience in Borgin and Burkes[src]

Borgin and Burkes is an antique shop located at 13B[1], Knockturn Alley, owned by Mr Borgin and Mr Burke, and the shop owners are known to deal with unusual and ancient wizarding artefacts, and, due to the sinister intents of many of its dodgy customers as well as the greedy and money-minded nature of its founders, it also at some point was used to carry out otherwise shady business and to sell objects of Dark magic and other dangerous magical items, including the Hand of Glory, an assortment of human bones, a pack of bloody cards, a glass eye, spiked instruments, a hangman's rope, a cursed necklace, and an array of leering masks that line the walls.[2]


Early history

Established in 1863[3], by Messrs. Caractacus Burke and Borgin, Borgin and Burkes offers "confidential valuation service for unusual and ancient wizarding artefacts, such as may have been inherited by the best wizarding families".[1]

Recent history



The Borgin and Burkes sign

When Merope Gaunt eloped with Tom Riddle Snr, probably in late 1925 or early 1926, Tom abandoned her and their unborn son a short while later, leaving Merope alone and destitute. Her only possession of worth was a heavy golden locket engraved with a serpentine 'S', which was once the property of Salazar Slytherin, her direct ancestor. Mr Burke was a shrewd businessman, but not exactly a kind human being.

According to Hepzibah Smith, Burke purchased the necklace from Merope for "a pittance"; meaning he bought the necklace sometime in 1926, before Voldemort's birth, for a very small amount of money or something equally as worthless. Burke admitted to purchasing the necklace for a mere ten Galleons, taking advantage of Merope's ignorance and desperation. Sometime later, Burke sold the necklace to Hepzibah Smith. She paid "an arm and a leg for it", claiming that she could not let a "real treasure" like that pass. Burke turned a tidy profit on the necklace at Merope's expense, but he could not have imagined the importance of that particular heirloom, or how it would impact his business years later.[4]


Roughly eighteen years after purchasing Slytherin's locket, Burke, without realising it, hired the son of the woman he had bought it from. Tom Marvolo Riddle, also known as Lord Voldemort, started working at Borgin and Burkes directly after graduating from Hogwarts in 1945. A handsome and charismatic young man, it was his job to persuade people to part with their wizardly artefacts, something he was very good at doing. Many of Tom's former teachers were surprised and disappointed at his choice of career at the shop, believing it was a waste of his exceptional talents, not realising that he was using the shop's connections to the Dark Arts to further his studies in the branch.

Between 1955 & 1961

Sometime between 1955 and 1961[5], Lord Voldemort was sent to visit Hepzibah Smith, charming her with his pleasant demeanour and good looks. She trusted him enough to show him Slytherin's locket, the locket that should have rightfully been his. Soon after seeing this locket, Voldemort killed Hepzibah, framing Smith's house-elf Hokey for the murder and taking the locket. Once the locket was in his possession, Riddle disappeared from wizard life completely, taking it and a cup once owned by Helga Hufflepuff with him. Riddle also left Caractcus Burke perplexed, as he failed to show up to work from then on, having quit his job at Borgin & Burke's without giving due notice of resignation to his superiors.


Borgin in his shop with Lucius Malfoy

On occasion, Mr Borgin would purchase items of interest from others; Lucius Malfoy had on numerous occasions sold things to Mr Borgin to avoid trouble before a Ministry raid on his mansion. In 1992, just before starting his second year at Hogwarts, Harry found himself in the shop, after accidentally exiting the Floo Network one stop beyond his intended destination of Diagon Alley. When Mr Malfoy entered the shop to sell "some poisons", Harry hid in a Crushing Cabinet. Upon seeing Tom Riddle's Diary, Borgin wanted to buy it because of its "magical qualities". Malfoy, however refrained from selling it, having other plans for it.[2]

Death Eaters inside the Borgin and Burkes 01

Death Eaters inside Borgin and Burkes in 1996

Draco Malfoy visited this shop again in early August of 1996 to force Borgin to help him repair a broken Vanishing Cabinet, the partner of which was in the shop. Draco also bought the Hand of Glory and a cursed Opal Necklace. When Draco left, Borgin was visibly shaken, though when Hermione Granger entered minutes later with a poor attempt to investigate Draco's doings, Borgin angrily expelled her from the store. The Vanishing Cabinet Draco wanted to repair was located at Hogwarts Castle. A group of Death Eaters used the Vanishing Cabinet at Borgin and Burkes to enter Hogwarts Castle at the end of the same school year.[4]

Known employees


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 J. K. Rowling's Official Site
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs)>Hepzibah died ten years before Voldemort met with Dumbledore. Lupin's quote in the PoA tells us Dumbledore became Headteacher between 1965 and 1971, meaning Hepzibah died befween 1955 and 1961

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Dragon ChallengeFlight of the HippogriffHarry Potter and the Escape From GringottsHarry Potter and the Forbidden JourneyHogwarts ExpressOllivander's Wand Shop


Borgin and BurkesDervish and BangesFilch's Emporium of Confiscated GoodsHoneydukesMadam Malkin's Robes for All OccasionsMagical MenagerieOllivander'sOwl PostQuality Quidditch SuppliesWands by GregorovitchWeasleys' Wizard WheezesWiseacre's Wizarding EquipmentZonko's Joke Shop


Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream ParlourLeaky CauldronThe Fountain of Fair FortuneThree Broomsticks Inn