The so-called 'Fitzhugh' pattern is associated with a family of English China traders that included Thomas Fitzhugh, president of the select committee of supercargoes at Canton in the 1780's, his son of the same name, and a supercargo named William Fitzhugh. As G.A. Godden notes (Oriental Export Market Porcelain, p. 144) "between them the Fitzhughs must have been responsible for the shipment of a vast quantity of Chinese porcelain to England".
The Fitzhugh pattern became quite fashionable in America, whose trade with China was just beginning in earnest in this period, and which continued into the early decades of the 19th century, primarily in the form of dinner services. H.P. and N. Schiffer, Chinese Export Porcelain, p. 137 illustrate a single seat very like the present lot and remark "The round, green Fitzhugh barrel seat is very rare", noting that garden seats were used indoors and out as stools in European houses, and by Chinese often in gardens as stands for flowerpots