Finest colonial craftsmanship
Clock and watch maker James Oatley (1770–1839) of Stafford, England, was sentenced to transportation for life and arrived in Sydney in 1815. Governor Lachlan Macquarie soon appointed him keeper of the town clock and in 1818, awarded Oatley the commission to install the clock at Hyde Park Barracks.
Oatley received a conditional pardon in 1821, by which time he had a successful business in George Street, Sydney. Oatley’s clocks, of which there are about 22 known examples, are regarded as some of the finest pieces of colonial craftsmanship and are prized by collectors.
This cedar clock, with 'Timekeeper by Oatley, Sydney' was made about 1827. It has its original finish and stands almost 2.5 metres.