Hans J. Wegner’s Oculus Chair was designed in 1960, but there were only two prototypes made — one in orange fabric, the other in leather — and the chair was largely forgotten. A half-century later, in 2009, it was rediscovered when Knud Erik Hansen, the owner of the furniture maker Carl Hansen & Son, received an e-mail from the Wegner studio with a picture of the chair from a 1968 magazine.
“The studio asked if we liked the chair,” said Thomas Vagner, the president of the company’s American branch. “Of course, we loved the chair.” The leather prototype had been lost, but Wegner’s family still had the orange chair. “Normally, when we develop or relaunch an old product, we buy it at auction and cut it in two to see what it’s like on the inside,” Mr. Vagner said. But since it was the only one, they had it scanned in 3-D, so they could see the interior.