A rich heiress in The Merchant of Venice, in love with
Bassanio. Her father had ordained that three caskets should be offered
to all who sought her hand- one of gold, one of silver, and one of
lead- with this proviso: he only who selected the casket which
contained the portrait of the lady should possess her hand and fortune.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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