E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
From gold to nothing, like Mandrabuls offering. Mandrabul, having found a gold-mine in Samos, offered to Juno a golden ram for the discovery; next year he gave a silver one, then a brazen one, and in the fourth year nothing. The proverb to bring a noble to ninepence, and ninepence to nothing, carries the same meaning.