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Actually there is a specific answer to this question in the book. It is in chapter 3 when the narrator who we later learn is Crispin is giving us his history. When at first, Crispin is telling us what a difficult life he and his mother led, he tells that his mother's wages were. Hers were a penny a day and she could buy full loaves of bread on this. So specifically. a quarter of a penny would be worth a loaf of bread.
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