Foot stools have been used in association with a wide array of furniture, including chairs, couches, painting tables, beds and thrones. The large size of the current example would suggest the latter. The quality of construction, materials used and size may also suggest that the current example was made for a person of wealth or status. See Wan Yi, et. al., Daily Life in the Forbidden City, Hong Kong, 1985, p. 128, no. 175 for an in-situ photograph of the Emperor's bedroom in the Hall of Mental Cultivation, where one can see a foot stool of considerable size used in conjunction with a platform-bed.
A related, though smaller, zitan foot stool dated to the middle Qing dynasty, lacking copper hardware and with a carved apron and similar, though squared feet, in the collection of the Beijing Palace Museum, is illustrated by Hu Desheng in Ming Qing Gongting Jiaju Daquan, Beijing, 2006, p. 144, no. 134.