Serving Mallet

Object Detail

About This Object
Serving mallets were used by the Bosun’s party to ‘serve’ ropes. “Serving” was a method of protecting the end of a rope from getting damaged by wrapping it in twine. The mallet was used in a vertical position with the handle uppermost at 90 degrees to the rope and the groove in the head fitted in line with, and up against the rope being ‘served.’ The twine was wound around the head and handle in such a way that gives leverage and provides tension for a ‘tight wrap.’ The mallet was rotated around the rope and the twine fed in a way that allows the wrapping to be kept taut as the crew moved down the length of line. This process is sometimes followed by tarring. This mallet is marked with a broad arrow to show that it was issued by the Navy Board.
Catalogue Number
Length: 450mm
Diameter: 50mm (1 15/16")
Diameter: 100mm (3 15/16")
Production Date
Pre 1758
Production Period
Eighteenth Century