Royal Doulton’s figurine Kate Hardcastle takes her name from the the heroine of the Anglo-Irish playwright Goldsmith’s comedy ‘She Stoops To Conquer’ first performed in the 18th Century.
Kate, a spirited young girl pretends to be a barmaid to overcome the shyness of her lover, Charles Marlow, the son of a rich Londoner. Charles’ shyness disappeared around working class girls hence the needed pretence.
Realising what she must do in order for Charles to woo her, Kate pretends to be a barmaid, thus stooping to conquer the young Charles!
Goldsmith’s play has proved perennially popular ever since it was first performed in London in 1773, which explains why in 1935 a figurine was modelled in her contemporary likeness by the great Leslie Harradine.
Doulton’s figure Kate Hardcastle proved popular with 5 colourways produced in the 1930’s and post WWII a slightly simplified model of her in somewhat muted colouring similar to HN1719 was introduced as HN2028. The issue with her has always been the base, which as collectors know is a particularly weak point when they are square or rectangular on these early figures, hence why most figures have round bases.