Frank Fenton presides at a "Marriage"

This article by Frank Fenton was published in February 2002 issue of the HOACGA newsletter.

Directly above is a green Paneled Dandelion candlestick, one of two known. Note that it is slightly larger than the blue example and used as a base for the candle lamp at the top.

Paneled Dandelion

In April of 1990, while attending the Heart of America convention, I met a fellow named Joe Carrothers who had a Fenton candle lamp I had never known to exist. (It's the only one known,) It was in the Panelled Dandelion pattern. I tried to buy it from him, but he wouldn't sell it. Finally, I asked him if he would lend to me for display in the Fenton Museum. He agreed. On July 23, 1990, he put a value of $4,000 on the candle lamp for insurance purposes. The lamp stayed on display in the museum until December 31, 1991 when Joe Corrothers took it back home with him.

The lamp was mis-matched; the shade was blue and the candlestick was green and looked like it was too big for the shade. About three years ago, a Fenton collector by the name of Mike Soper came in with a smaller candle-holder in blue in the same pattern. He found it in Zannesville, Ohio. He was willing to lend it to me for display in the Museum; he didn't want to sell it. Then I called Joe Carrothers to see if he might be willing to sell his mis-matched lamp. I found he had throat cancer and couldn't talk, but he indicated he would sell his lamp for $30,000. I said, thanks, but no thanks.

Last year Joe died. The lamp was auctioned off on e-bay and sold for $6,500. It took me a while to find out who bought it. His name was Isaak Somershein. He had outbid Mike in the auction, but Mike didn't want to sell his blue candle to Isaak who would then have a matched lamp, same color top and bottom. I finally persuaded Mike to let his blue base be "married" to the blue shade. They agreed to meet at the Fenton Museum to exchange pieces and money on April 5, 2001 at 3:00 p.m. I presided at the ceremony.

It is interesting that Isaak did not know he was buying a smaller blue candlestick until he arrived at the Museum. He had assumed that the blue candlestick was the same size as as green candlestick, Mike and I were also surprised. Here's the way Mrs. Somershein described it.

"For approximately thirty years, the long-noted carnival collector, Joe Carrothers, was the owner of the Panelled Dandelion candle lamp. He purchased the shade in blue and two green bases. Throughout his life, he loked for the matching stick, but to no avail. Last year, Mike Soper found the elusive blue Panelled Dandelion base. It had been, up until recently, on display at the Fenton Museum. Then, as luck would have it, Isaak Somershein purchased the mis-matched lamp on e-bay from the estate of Joe Corrothers. Mr. Somershein attempted to buy the matching stick from Mr. Soper but was unable to make the deal. The next thing to happen was an article published in HOACGA regarding the candle lamp being sold. There was a wonderment concerning its current new ownership. It is believed that this was initiated by the Thistlewoods. Mr. Somershein's phone began ringing off the hook, and emails poured in to him. All devoted Carnival Glass fans wanted the marriage to occur. Mr. Frank Fenton became aware of the situation and offered his assistance. He was to act as the intermediary between the two parties involved. As a devotee and friend of Carnival Glass he stepped in as the shotkin (that's Jewish for marriage broker). His assistance and involvement were the reasons for the success of the sacred ceremony. The actual marriage rites were performed at the Fenton Art Glass Museum on April 5, 2001. It was a small, private affair, attended by their closest friends. Pictures were taken, vows were exchanged, and a small reception followed. Once the ceremony was complete, Mike Soper became the proud owner of the only two matched green Panelled Dandelion candlesticks. Mr. Somershein became the proud owner of the happy couple. The end of a thirty-year quest was completed. This impressive exchange completes a Carnival Glass cycle in history. It is believed to be the only time that two, not one, one of a kind rarities were created in a single fateful day!"

The story above is actually a bit more complicated. Tom Mordini was involved in the purchase with Isaak Somershein of the candle lamp on eBay for $6,500. Tom and Isaak had bid as partners on the lamp but since the sale was listed as Isaak's, that is who Frank credited. After the "Marriage" in 2001 Tom carried the lamp to various conventions for about 8 months and finally sold it for $13,000. In 2012 the candle lamp sold again for $8,000.