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Go Inside the Whimsical World of Winn Morton, Broadway Costumer and Legendary Designer of the Texas Rose Festival

Preview the Epic Texas Estate Sale, Taking Place November 17 - 19

BY // 11.14.22
photography Dallas Estate Sellers

Seasoned estate sale shoppers know the somewhat perverse thrill of treasure hunting in a recently vacated (and occasionally fabulous) home. It’s the most personal form of thrifting, and — in a way — an opportunity for a collector’s legacy and great taste to live on. And while all estate sales are their own unique, eclectic beast, some are buzzier than most. This weekend, those in the Dallas area have the opportunity to catch one of the most notable estate sales of the year: the historic Winniford House in Lancaster, owned by late, great costume designer John “Winn” Morton (aka the “King of Rhinestones and Feathers”).

The 1913-built Prairie house sits on idyllic 150 acres just south of Dallas and was restored by Morton and his late partner, Harry Lewis, in the 1970s. The distinctive home is worth the visit on its own, but Morton’s impressive legacy and incredible taste make the estate sale a genuine must-see.

unnamed (Photo by Dallas Estate Sellers)
The Winn Morton Estate Sale will be held in the historic Morton family home in Lancaster, Texas. (Photo by Dallas Estate Sellers)

Born in Lancaster, Texas in 1928, Morton attended school in Highland Park and briefly attended Southern Methodist University, but his longtime love of the circus ultimately drew him to the Ringling School of Art, where he perfected his drawing skills before attending Parsons School of Design in New York. His passion for design and lavish costuming took him from Hollywood to the Broadway stage.

Morton and Lewis returned to Dallas in the late 1970s, where his design acumen would take its most Lone Star turn yet. He was appointed the designer of The Texas Rose Festival in 1982 and spent the next three decades transforming the annual three-day Tyler event into something that more closely resembled a Broadway production.

“[Winn] is a ball of fire. Very energetic. Very enthusiastic. Age knows no bounds to his creativity,” Liz Ballard, the executive director and curator of the Tyler Rose Museum told the Dallas Morning News in 2015. “He’s always been able to put that artistic touch on whatever it is.”

During his Texas Rose tenure, Morton also worked his magic for many a Dallas socialite, designing extravagant charity balls and parties throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

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“His clientele was discerning, and they knew Winn’s imagination would exceed their expectations,” reads Morton’s 2022 obituary.

The Winn Morton estate sale will be held over the course of three days (Thursday, November 17, to Saturday, November 19, from 9 am to 4 pm each day). A few notable items include vintage jewelry; Jan Barboglio home accessories; glass by Baccarat and Tiffany & Co.; century-old belt buckles from Barnum & Bailey’s and Buffalo Bills Wild West Show; Dior beaded cuff links; a clown photo signed by Emmett Kelly; Craftsman and Victorian furniture; rare books; vinyl records; Texas Rose Festival souvenirs; and a treasure trove of global antiques.


Discover more details about the Winn Mortan estate sale at dallasestatesellers.com. The sale will take place in person in Lancaster, Texas — no online sales will be taking place.

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