21 March 2012
Last updated at 00:49
David Kirch, from Jersey, is selling his lifetime collection of Zeppelin memorabilia at the auctioneer Wallis and Wallis in Lewes, Sussex. "There are 15 tonnes of items," said auctioneer assistant Geoff Wood.
"News of sale has set the airship world abuzz. We've got people in Germany, the States as well as the UK who are extremely interested in the sale," said Mr Wood.
The collection ranges from souvenir postcards to badges and buttons, uniforms, cutlery and crockery. Some items have no guide price because they have never been auctioned before.
Mr Kirch said his collection had outgrown his home. He said: "For the past 35 years I have been an avid collector of all things airship. I had grand ideas of opening a museum.... but unfortunately I have come to realise that these sort of enterprises are no longer viable at my time of life."
The Steiff company made a doll of a Zeppelin captain called Onkel Zeppelin between 1908 and 1913. The Steiff encyclopaedia says Margarete Steiff was fascinated by her first glimpse of a Zeppelin.
In the 1920s the UK Government developed airships to connect the British Empire by air. The R101 crashed in France while on its way to India in 1930. All of its passengers were killed - only six of the 54 crew members survived. Britain's airship programme ended after that disaster.
This chest was used by Leutnant Kurt Emil Krueger, who served in the German Naval Airship Division to store his uniform. He was killed when British aircraft shot down the L-70 airship. Its fatalities included Peter Strasser, who was chief commander of German Imperial Navy Zeppelins during World War I.