"Gold as large as lions" - source?

I’m currently reading “Barchester Towers” by Anthony Trollope. (I still have questions about the previous book in the Barchester cycle, but never mind that.)

In it, he uses a curious turn of phrase on two occasions, with reference to a clergyman’s son borrowing from a Jewish moneylender:

(Emphasis mine.) It has the sound of a classical or biblical reference of some kind, but my Google skills are clearly lacking. Does anyone know where Trollope might have picked up this turn of phrase?

Perhaps he’s referring to a hotel.

Is it just an allusion to having a heart as big as a lion? It sounds very specific, though.

I really don’t know anything about this topic, but he has the recurring concepts of gold and lions. Perhaps this is related to the English heraldry symbol (if heraldry is correct there). Perhaps a Welsh writer would have spoken of ‘gold as big as leeks’.

As an irrelevant aside, The Lion D’or triggers my memory of the Fitzgerald story The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, as did your OP.