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Mayers, Osterwalk & Muhlfeld, Inc. v. Bendler

18 C.C.P.A. 117 (1930)

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Mayers, Osterwalk & Muhlfeld, Inc. v. Bendler

United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

18 C.C.P.A. 117 (1930)

Facts

The Tariff Act of 1922 imposed a 20 percent ad valorem duty on the importation of cut diamonds that were suitable for use in jewelry and imposed no duty on artistic antiquities—works of art that were created over 100 years before their importation. Mayers, Osterwalk & Muhlfeld, Inc. (the importer) (defendant) brought the Nassak diamond into the United States. The Nassak diamond was a large and valuable diamond that had resided in a temple in India for an unknown amount of time before being brought into London in 1818. In London, the Nassak diamond was recut according to standard practices. The Nassak diamond was let into the United States duty-free as an artistic antiquity. E. F. Bendler (plaintiff), a rival diamond dealer, filed a lawsuit against the importer in the United States Customs Court, arguing that the Nassak diamond was not an artistic antiquity that could enter duty-free, but a cut diamond that was suitable for use in jewelry and that was subject to a 20 percent duty. The customs court ruled in favor of the importer, holding that the Nassak diamond was an artistic antiquity. Bendler appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Graham, J.)

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