Arthur v. Homer

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

96 U.S. 137

Arthur  v.  Homer

ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

In 1873, Homer & Co. imported into the port of New York certain goods, of which linen was the basis, upon which the collector imposed and collected duties at the rate of forty per cent, under the seventh section of the act of June 30, 1864 (13 Stat. 209). The importers insisted that they were dutiable at thirty-five per cent only, under the twenty-second section of the act of March 2, 1861 (12 id. 192), and brought this action to recover the alleged excess of duties.

The plaintiffs introduced testimony tending to show that the goods were dress patterns, or patterns for dresses, designed for ladies' wear, each piece, or the contents of each carton, comprising the material for a garment, either as an overskirt (polonaise) or dress (robe a jour), although not made up. The size of these patterns or articles varied from about eight to twelve yards. About the edge, or above it, and arranged so as to form an appropriate ornamentation to the article when made up for wear, there was worked, sometimes in cotton thread and sometimes in linen thread, more or less embroidery. The amount of this embroidery and its elaboration was a substantial and influential element in the cost or value of the article.

The component material of chief value in the articles in question was flax or linen, as embroidered; and in the condition in which they were imported,-packed in cartons and boxes,-the value of the goods exceeded thirty cents per square yard.

The testimony further showed that the general descriptive and commercial names of the articles in question were polonaise and robe, more particularly described as linen embroidered robes and linen embroidered polonaise, &c.

The court below directed the jury to find a verdict for the plaintiffs; and from the judgment entered upon such verdict this writ of error is brought.

The Solicitor-General for the plaintiff in error.

Mr. Edward Hartley, contra.

MR. JUSTICE HUNT delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).