Two guitars customized and played by Eddie Van Halen are headed for auction

Eddie Van Halen guitars
(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Two electric guitars custom-designed and played by Eddie Van Halen will take centerstage at Julien’s upcoming Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock 'N' Roll auction on December 4 and 5.

First up is a 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series handstriped in the white-and-black abstract design style of Eddie’s 1978 Van Halen guitar. The EVH Charvel features a maple neck and fingerboard, Fender Stratocaster-style headstock numbered #54 on the back and an EVH humbucking pickup with evidence of a cigarette burn to the front.

The body is signed Eddie Van Halen, initialed VH 04 and inscribed in Van Halen's handwriting “San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04.” Accompanying the guitar are multiple photos of Van Halen hand-applying taped stripes to the guitar, photos of him playing the guitar on stage in San Antonio and an EVH hardshell case with a partly smoked cigarette in a plastic vial.

2004 EVH Kramer Van Halen guitar

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Additionally, a customized electric guitar built by Van Halen with his guitar tech Matt Bruck at the guitarist's 5150 home studio is up for sale.

The instrument, serial number F 0024, features a red body with white and black stripes designed and applied by Van Halen, as well as a maple neck and fingerboard with dot inlays, pointed Kramer headstock with Kramer machine heads, single humbucker pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo.

The guitar was gifted to Van Halen's friend Bryan Cash, the owner of Cash's Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1991. It is inscribed “Yo - / Bryan / Let's get / shucked / up / Eddie Van Halen / 5150” and was displayed at the bar where it was played by Van Halen when he visited.

The guitar also includes a white Van Halen guitar pick and two backstage passes, one labelled “Bertinelli Guest.”

EVH custom electric guitar

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Each guitar is estimated to sell for between $40,000 and $80,000.

"As we were preparing for our annual Icons & Idols: Rock 'N' Roll auction lineup, we were stunned to hear the sad news of Eddie Van Halen's passing last week," said Darren Julien, president/chief executive officer of Julien's Auctions.

"We are honored to include at this event two iconic guitars from his brilliant and blazing career as one of rock's greatest and most gifted guitar heroes. His instruments join their rightful place among other rock royalty items from Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith and many others we look forward to announcing in the coming weeks."

For more information on the Icons & Idols: Rock 'N' Roll auction, head to Julien’s.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.