RARE photographs and correspondence from the author of Lord of the Rings are to be sold by Colchester auctioneers next month.

The official archive of JRR Tolkien’s photographer, Pamela Chandler, is estimated to have a combined value of between £20,000 and £30,000.

It will be auctioned by Reeman Dansie, which is based in Wyncolls Road in Severalls Business Park, Colchester, on Wednesday, December 1.

Mrs Chandler’s body of work extended far beyond Tolkien, however.

She was the first woman invited to Downing Street to take official photographs of a sitting Prime Minister when she photographed Harold MacMillan in 1960.

In 1957, at the age of just 29, she also took unofficial portraits of the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Chandler’s success led her to work closely with JRR Tolkien – who also wrote The Hobbit, among other works.

The portfolio of her work to be sold at the auction in December will include much of her professional output, including photographs of pedigree dogs, first edition books, vintage photographs, and correspondence from notable figures, including letters from JRR Tolkien.

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Daniel Wright, the associate director at Reeman Dansie Auctioneers and Valuers, said the photographs of Tolkien were particularly valuable due to the low media profile Tolkien kept throughout his career.

Mr Wright said: “The Tolkien photographs are particularly important because he was such a private person.

“Pamela Chandler had quite a varied career – there’s a lot of vintage material in her collection and it captures things that are very much of the era.”

It is not the first time Colchester has had a link with the legendary author, when a customer in the town’s branch of Oxfam handed over a set of Lord of the Rings first editions in a carrier bag full of old books in 2004.