Garden stools were first created in China as wooden drum style stools. Starting some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago the Chinese were beginning to move from a floor mat based living environment to a raised living environment. As with any major change these changes came first to nobility and the elite classes. ( The wealthy, the rich)
Although these ceramic drum-shaped stools have been exported to the West for about 300 years, it is only since the mid-20th century that they have gained such currency in American interiors — and exteriors.