Stool Pigeon?

Not really, for the one illustrated is the genuine article, not a commercial decoy.  Stools are among the earliest forms of seating, but those made to be mechanically adjustable specifically for the better playing of musical instruments did not come into general use until the last half of the 18th century. These had a round upholstered seat supported on a wooden central screw threaded column, raised or lowered simply by turning the seat.  By the early 1800 the wood, which was prone to wear and collapse, with sometimes disastrous results, was superseded by a metal mechanism for the more expensive models. So how do we know that this is in fact the real thing, the top of the range, from the late Regency period.                                                 

Firstly, the high quality of timber and carving, then the design, which research into design books of leading makers will reveal its prototype.  This is important; like everything that becomes the height of fashion in an exclusive coterie, it is copied cheaply to be made available to a mass market and quickly loses its desirability. Just so with antique English furniture, and in particular that of the 1815 - 1835 period.

After that later date it was no longer commercially viable to produce and there were so many new designs appearing all the time to win favour. So here it is the discovery of a page of illustrations in the 1827 edition of George Smith's   'A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration', which shows a stool with such close similarity as to dispel any doubts of authenticity when allied with the features just mentioned.  Smith was an important and well established designer, cabinet maker and the Prince Regent's 'upholsterer extraordinary' and this and his other two publications are a constant reference to high-style furniture of the time. By the way, when used in conjunction with pigeon, the word stool may come from the old early  'stoale' or tree stump where a decoy bird might perch, or my favourite, which is the French word 'estale' meaning a pigeon set as a decoy to trap a hawk.