Phil Lesh’s “Eye of Horus” Bass Guitar Acquired by National Museum of American History

Phil Lesh with Eye of Horus bassPhil Lesh’s “Eye of Horus” bass, built by Jens Ritter, has been acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The modern-styled bass will be added to the museum’s extensive instrument collection, which also includes Prince’s and Eddie Van Halen’s guitars.

Featuring Ritter’s Jupiter design with a solid silver “Eye of Horus” inlay at the 12th fret, the former Grateful Dead member commissioned the bass in 2009 and went on to say it taught him to play in an entirely different way. The bass also features a one-piece mahogany body, maple neck, ebony fingerboard, Ritter Master Quattrobucker pickups, and blue side and front LEDs.

Phil Lesh's Eye of Horus Bass

The bass was created into an artist series with a total of ten made, each with a price tag of €11,300 (about $16,000 US). For more info on the bass, visit the Ritter website.

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts

  1. kirk

    Beautiful Art, ugly bass.

    I would have rather seen a demo on how it sounds instead of the unique camera shots showing how it looks.

    Probably as amazing sustain with that much string past the bridge to the butt of the bass.

  2. jeff

    @ kirk; I agree kirk. It does have great sustain, but so do his Modulus basses even with their realitively short 34″ scale. BUt all in all the Modulus basses sound so much better tone wise.

  3. I guess art is totally subjective (eye of the beholder for the Eye of Horus…get it? Gawd, I’m such a cornball sometimes). I’ve never been a big fan of modern art, so obviously this design doesn’t really move me much. Still, this bass has some elements that I really dig, like the flowing form of the upper horn and headstock is cool too, and several I don’t (c’mon Phil…flat black???)…but overall it just ain’t my style at all. Gotta admit though, it *does* sound pretty amazing! Then again, just about any bass Phil puts his big ol’ talented hands on sounds amazing now, doesn’t it?

  4. Michael Larkin

    This is only the second bass guitar (along with a ’55 Fender P-bass) to be added to the Smithsonian’s collection. Even though Phil went back to playing the Modulus, it’s still cool.