An autographed sketch by Walt Disney before he hit the bigtime is set to go under the hammer in Reno, Nevada later this week (begs28Nov11).
The image of a cigar-smoking man in a derby hat is believed to have been drawn in 1920, a few years before Disney came up with his most popular character, Mickey Mouse, in 1928.
The sketch is expected to attract bids of between $35,000 (£21,875) and $50,000 (£31,250) at the auction, which starts at the Atlantis Casino Resort on Tuesday (29Nov11).
Fred Holabird, who is helping stage the sale, says, "Real pieces signed by him (Disney) are really rare. This is one of the earliest known signed Disney pieces, if not the earliest."