Henry Dunay is an American goldsmith and jewelry designer, best known for his fine scratched surface technique known as Sabi.
Having apprenticed in the workshop of New York City jeweler Rudolph Cacioli at the age of 14, Dunay learned the fine art of creating jewelry. Though starting as an errand boy, he quickly worked his way up to becoming a master model maker and setter at a remarkably young age, impressing Cacioli with the fineness of his work and the refinement of his proportions and curves. Observing that most jewelry in shop windows he peered into followed the same styles and dimensions, he started his own firm in 1956. Taking on work from other manufacturers (including Harry Winston) to support himself initially, Dunay quickly found success and fame after winning the De Beers Diamond International Award, which showered images of his designs around the world.
Soon, Henry Dunay jewelry could be found in some of the most important jewelry stores where shoppers were drawn to the unique style, sensuous curves, and exceptional craftsmanship of the jewelry designed and created by Henry Dunay. A key supporter was Stanley Marcus, whose Neiman Marcus department stores first sold branded designer jewelry when they began selling Henry Dunay. Jewelry was soon followed by timepieces, fragrances, and objet d'art.
Henry Dunay achieved notable success after the introduction of the Sabi finish. Inspired by the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, which embraces asymmetry, simplicity, and the integrity of natural processes and objects. Described initially as "simple elegance," Sabi consisted of finely hand-etched lines that require remarkable precision and skill by Henry Dunay to create the sophisticated look. Coinciding with the brand's rising popularity in Japan and the growing influence of Far Eastern cultures on its designs, Sabi solidified once again Henry Dunay's position as a leading jewelry designer, artist and trendsetter in the world of fine jewelry.
Affected by the late-2000s financial crisis, Henry Dunay Designs and its inventory valued at $50 million was sold at auction in December 2009. He later formed a new company, H.D.D. Inc., focusing on custom pieces.
Today he continues to design and hand fabricate jewelry in New York City's Diamond District.
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