Varuna Boat, Van Cleef & Arpels’ collection, circa 1907

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From the very beginning, Van Cleef & Arpels has offered its clients the possibility of ordering the jewel of their dreams. Created between 1906 and 1908, the Varuna boat was one of the first special orders of the Maison. Made of ebony, green and white enamel, rubies, gold and jasper – and equipped with an electrical contact for a butler’s bell – this unique commission was probably ordered by Eugene Higgins, a prominent figure of New York society in the late 19th century. He owned the original Varuna boat from 1907 to 1908, at which was the most modern vessel of its time. It is believed that he ordered this magnificent bell in memory of it.