July 30, 2012 / 8:50 PM / 8 years ago

Henson's early sketches of The Muppets up for auction

Muppet character Gonzo is pictured with Lisa Henson (L) CEO of The Jim Henson Company and her brother Brian Henson, chairman of The Jim Henson Company during ceremonies honoring the Muppets with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A handwritten pitch and drawings for the television pilot episode of “The Muppet Show” by creator Jim Henson are among items being sold at an upcoming sale of Hollywood memorabilia, auction house Nate D. Sanders said on Monday.

The collection of illustrations, which includes an original Polaroid of Miss Piggy and Henson’s handwritten pitch of story ideas, marks the early stages of development for the lovable characters including Kermit the Frog that have become an American pop culture staple.

“The photos and sketches showed Henson’s vision as he created one of the most popular shows of all-time,” auctioneer Nate Sanders said in a statement.

The complete Muppets lot is expected to fetch between $35,000 and $40,000 at the July 31 auction.

Henson’s characters, which include Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear, helmed “The Muppet Show” on TV between 1976 and 1981, before appearing in numerous films including 1992’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” and most recently, 2011’s “The Muppets” movie.

Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Marguerita Choy

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