An exquisite and very fine 18K yellow gold jewel by Henry Dunay, one of the greatest American jewelers of the latter 20th century. The piece comprises a 32" necklace of domed, oval gold links joined by polished arched connectors. The outer surfaces of the links are stippled in a roughly textured finish that contrast nicely with the arched connectors. Two of the links have hidden hinged clasps so that the necklace can be separated into a shorter necklace and a bracelet. Two of the arched connectors are joined together at the midpoint to suspend a detachable pendant inspired by ancient Mayan motifs. The pendant is quite large, but the openwork and geometric approach to the design maintain a sense of lightness. The pendant can also be worn as a brooch. All pieces are signed by Dunay and are marked 18K.
The piece is accompanied by a written appraisal (GIA & NAJA) indicating a total replacement value of $34,000. Mr. Dunay, himself, indicated that he recalled making the piece in 1968 or 1969. At that time he did not systematically document his creations, so the jewel has not appeared in published works. He suggested he would charge $34,000 to recreate the piece today.
Origin: America, ca. 1968. Condition: excellent, all original. Size: full necklace length, 32" bracelet length, 8-1/2"; shortened necklace length, 23-1/2"; pendant/brooch, 2-11/16" diameter. Weight: 249.09 grams/8.009troy ounces.