Royal Doulton’s Kate Hardcastle – the story of a name. 

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 Hardcastle HN1734.

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. 

Kate Hardcastle HN1861.

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! 

Kate Hardcastle HN1719.

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. 

Kate Hardcastle HN1919.

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. 

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