Link here. Previously posted:
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Connecting The Dots
Nainsook fabric. Hindi. Pleasant to the eye.
The pre-decimal penny (1d) was a coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling. Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius. It was a continuation of the earlier English penny, and in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was originally minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, and then after 1860 in bronze.So, "four and eleven" refers to the price of these undergarments, four shillings and eleven pence.
The plural of "penny" is "pence" when referring to a quantity of money and "pennies" when referring to a number of coins. Thus 8d is eight pence, but "eight pennies" means specifically eight individual penny coins.
Before Decimal Day in 1971 twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound, hence 240 pence in one pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. 42 pence would be three shillings and sixpence (3/6), pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.
The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle For James Joyce's Ulysses, Kevin Birmingham, c. 2014, p. 160.
Even more interesting, note how US retailers advertise / sell items for $5.99 vs $6.00 -- one penny less than $6.00, for example, but psychologically ....
So, here we have in Dublin, Ireland, back at fin de siecle, we have knickers going on sale for one pence short of a full five shillings, advertised for "four and eleven."
See this site for more; comes close with explanation but doesn't quite complete the task.