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An expensive piece of headgear—a woman's hat—stated to have cost £lO, was the subject of litigation in the MagisCourt at Wellington on Thursday, last. The plaintiff was Jessie M. Johnston, of Sydney, N.S.W., and tho defendant (sa vs the ' Post') a local carrier, F. G. Potter, of 99 Mein street. Plaintiff arrived in AVellington By the steamer on November 10, and included among the luggage which was given into defendant's care was a hat-box containing the valuable hat. Unfortunately, this was lost, and defendant's offer to pay what he thought was a reasonable sum was refused.

Mr E. J. Fitzgibbon (for defendant) stated that the facts were admitted, but the hat, of course, could not be introduced. Tho only question was as to its value.

Mrßiddell, S.M. : It would need a good deal of speculation on my part to arrive at an estimate.

Plaintiff went into the. box and swore that she paid £lO for the hat when ehe purchased it at Farmer's, in Sydney. She bought it about three weeks before coming to New Zealand, and had only worn it once. It was of white tagel straw and was trimmed with four ostrich plumes and lined underneath with white lace. She considered that the prico was quite reasonable, and in Sydney it was not unusual to pay 25 guineas for a hat. Hie Worship : Is Farmer's a leading establishment in Sydney ? Plaintiff : It is " the" leading shop. Well, I suppose you would have to pay for the. name ?—I don't know.

Mr Fitzgibbon : What do you do, Mrs Johnston? —I am the representative of the Sydney firm, Storeman and Schaffer. "Why did vou come over here?—l am on business, taking orders for cocoa. You say vou had four boxes altogether? —Y*es.

Are you euro you did not put tho hat into the tin box? —No; I tried to, but it was such a tremendous height that it would not go in.

Show us how high it was.—Witness signified a height about two feet from the top of the witness-box. Will you tell us how much you earn? —I am paid £2 10s per week and allowed expenses and commission. How much would the shape cost, without any trimming?— Possibly about £5. And ostrich foathers .ire expensive, arc they ?—Yes. Mr P. W. Jackson (representing plaintiff) : They will possibly be cheaper in New Zealand, because I believe by the papers that wo have an ostrich farm of our own. (Laughter.)

His Worship : Have you s<M>n. any hat in New Zealand like the one you. have lost ?—No, I have not.

Have you seen anybody wearing such a hat?—No; hut I have kept a good look out.

Mr Fitzgibbon called an expert milliner to show that a hat such as that described by plaintiff should be worth between three and four guineas in New Zealand, but His Worship said that little heed could be taken of this evidence if the witness had not seen the hat. Counsel then claimed that His Worship would havo to say what ho thought was a reasonable price for the hat. His Worship : £lO seems to bo a very high price to pay for a hat, but plaintiff asserts that that was what she gave, and her statement has not been contradicted. Defendant is in an unfortunate position, but at the same time he has no way out of it. Judgment must go for plaintiff for tho full amount claimed. Security for appeal was fixed at £3 8s:

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Bibliographic details

AN EXPENSIVE HAT, Issue 15675, 14 December 1914

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AN EXPENSIVE HAT Issue 15675, 14 December 1914

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