In 19th Century ship rigging lingo, “service” was the material (marline or spun yarn) treated with tar (pitch) and tightly wrapped around a larger line or hardware to protect it from chafing and weather. The material was wound around the line using a “serving mallet” or a simpler “serving board.” This is such a board in its smallest size. In use the marlin was wound around the base of the handle of the board in a manner to produce tension, and the flat part of the mallet used as a lever to tightly wind the marline around the object being “served.” This was started and ended with a whip finish. This board is one that was used to serve smaller stuff—say line of about ½” diameter. It is 12 inches long, with the flat head being 2 x 2 ¼ inches. It appears to be made of white oak. The flat blade of the board is strengthened brass or copper rivets at top and bottom. This one shows great concave wear from having wound marline around a line, picking up pitch or tar from both the line being served and the marline itself. This is a nice item for a nautical collection, and maybe even to use while trying your hand at serving. Fine.