A pair of electric guitars played and customised by Eddie Van Halen to be auctioned off in December

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

If you are looking for a shred-ready electric guitar and have a budget of $80,000, check out Julien's Auctions where a pair of Eddie Van Halen's guitars will go under the hammer in December.

A 2004 EVH Charvel Art Series guitar, hand-striped and signed by Eddie, and a red, white and black striped electric that was custom-built by Eddie with his guitar tech Matt Bruck are the headlining lots on Julien's Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘N’ Roll event.

The Charvel (serial number: 54) is finished in black and white stripes a la the iconic 1978 Van Halen I model, and Eddie has signed the front of the guitar, initialling it with "VH 04" and marking it "San Antonio Texas / 9-28-04," where Van Halen played on their reunion tour with Sammy Hagar. 

2004 EVH Charvel Art Series

2004 EVH Charvel Art Series (Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

If you zoom in a little, you might also notice a cigarette burn on the front of the body, which appears to be an accidental bit of relic'ing by the man himself. The Charvel comes with photographs of Eddie applying the stripes and playing the guitar on stage in San Antonio, a hard case, and a half-smoked cigarette in a plastic vial.

Build-wise, it features the familiar Stratocaster headstock and maple bolt-on neck and 12-16" compound radius 'board. Going by that era's spec, the headstock should be should be fitted with Schaller M6 locking tuners. Elsewhere you've got an Original Floyd Rose vibrato with D-Tuna seated in a basswood body, with a single direct-mounted EVH humbucker. A knob marked "Tone" controls the volume.

As for the other guitar, the headstock says Kramer and is fitted with Kramer tuners, but this is a classic example of Eddie Van Halen's DIY approach.

Eddie Van Halen's custom-built "Kramer"

Eddie Van Halen's custom-built "Kramer" (Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The serial number reads "F 0024" and the setup is typically EVH, with a single knob for on-the-fly volume swells, a double-locking Floyd Rose vibrato, and no truss rod cover, thank you very much. The Kramer headstock is similarly proportioned but with a sharper point than Eddie's  5150 custom Kramer. 

Eddie gave the guitar to his friend Bryan Cush in 1991, inscribing a dedication to him after playing the guitar at Cush's Centenary Oyster House in Shreveport, Los Angeles. 

The guitar comes with a Van Halen pick and a couple of backstage passes. Both the Charvel and the "Kramer" are expected to fetch between $40,000 to $80,000 but don't be surprised if a final bid comes in higher than this. 

Other lots include Michael Jackson's glove, as worn on the 1984 Victory Tour, David Bowie’s U.S. Tour IV manuscript from the 1974 Diamond Dogs tour, and a Strat that was smashed and destroyed onstage by Kurt Cobain then given to a fan. The latter is a relic of the 1994 In Utero tour and is expected to fetch $60,000 to $80,000.

The Icons & Idols Trilogy: Rock ‘N’ Roll auction gets underway on the 4th and 5th December. See Julien's Auctions for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.