Ed Lea: Seeking a ‘Vintage’ Girl in Gold

(Last Updated On May 25, 2022)

by Valentijn

Ed Lea – Jessica and Susanne 01 (year unknown)

Once upon a time there was a website titled Sweet Angels Calendar. Nowadays only fragments survive in the Wayback Machine. And at the time of this writing I have not even been able to find them there again. I must rely upon saved pages from some time ago. It might remain a mystery who had once created and hosted this site and why it disappeared. I would say there were mainly vintage child nudes to be seen there. Like Love and Little Girls and Fairy Diary by Jean-Louis Michel, Sophie Despineux by Yoji Ishikawa, and other works by him, Euro Cute Photoalbum, Euro Scans and Vera. And further on, My Fairy, Shaila, by Ayako Parks, Chrysalides Photodreams by Mauro Bertoncelli, Le Bois de Fée by Shizuki Obuchi, work by Jacques Bourboulon, Irina Ionesco, and the unknown to me, Rene Guinot. Here under a picture from the index of this site, saved as a website in the Wayback Machine.

Stephan – Index Sweet Angels Calendar (2019)

Below is a quote about the mission of Sweet Angels Calendar. From it one can conclude that the site might have been based in Eastern-Europe, considering the English. Considering the attention given to the USA, it might have been based there as well, but I suppose the USA is mentioned because it is a grand public arena. The quote is from 2000 according to the Wayback Machine. But I do not wish right now to discuss the claims of legality or the merit of the mission. I would like to let it speak for itself.

The following pages contain photos with Girls under the age 0f 18. Photographed by famous photographers like David Hamilton, James Bas, Jacques Bourboulon, Kou Osaka, Jock Sturges, Jarry Clark etc. etc.

This superb collection of legal, tasteful nudes contains no pornography—no situations or lewd poses.

Our entire range complies with the criteria of sexual criminal law currently in force in Russia, which is basically in line with Hungaria, Poland, etc. legislation and thus compatible with the EU.

I am not a lawyer and I can’t give you legal advice. It is up to you to determine if these kind of images are legal in your own area. I can assure that it is legal under federal laws, and under Californian laws. As far as we know there are no State laws against this kind of material.

Images such as the one displayed can be purchased at large bookstores all over the USA. Photo Artists such as David Hamilton and Jock Sturges have made careers photographing nude adolescent females. At one point Jock Sturges was raided by the FBI. He won in court because material such as this is constitutionally protected.

We are against child pornography and this ain’t it. There are very specific guidelines called the Dost Factors, they come from a 1986 case: U.S. vs. Dost, and were later affirmed by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The Dost Factors are used to help determine if an image contains the lascivious  exhibition of the genitals or public area as referred to in United States Code Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 110 Section 2256 and which would make an image child pornography.

It is our position that all of the models in the Sweet angels Calendar Website posed willingly and are currently OK with the fact that their images are publicly displayed. Not all cultures are as uptight as we are about the nude human body. If we ever received credible information that any image in this website was produced under questionable conditions which disrespected the model, we would remove it (that has never happened).

In our opinion beautiful nude females ages 12 thru 19 are spectacular. Many people across many cultures and many times agree. God made them, and it’s OK for us to enjoy respectfully admiring them.

We are also sensitive to the fact that many well-intentioned, good people have a different opinion and feel it is awful for such images to be displayed.

This website is dedicated to all the Little Sweethearts in the World. Please enjoy the Beauty in Little Girls but never abuse them.

And then there was the less well-known photographer Ed Lea—6 out of 19 pictures surviving there of Jessica and Susanne. The story behind these girls remains unknown. Maybe these pictures are not the finest ever produced but they are nice, smiling images. And I have a recollection of one of them, even before I saw these six surviving pictures again, of one of the two girls in the nude with a kind of golden skin. Why did the Wayback Machine not save this Girl in Gold? She is the girl below—the only one here in colour—and thus the one I am searching for is like this, in colour, in gold. Also below are 5 images from this series of Jessica and Susanne in ‘Sweet Angels Calendar’. As thumbnails they are titled “jess_sue”, with the corresponding number.

[Note from the Editor: My apologies to our readers and the writer of this post, but it has been necessary to remove the image that used to be in this place. Although there is nothing wrong with it per se, being a full frontal nude shot of a teenage girl makes it incongruous with our work here on Pigtails in Paint. We have received a couple of complaints and a legal expert says that it could be the basis for legal action. It is simply not worth the trouble to keep it up since this aspect of nudity is not really part of our fight. I usually like to allow contributing writers some leeway in how they present their articles, but I must remind them that all content should be on-topic. In addition, the image certainly could not be justified on the basis of artistic merit. It would be sufficient to say that Mr. Lea continued photographing his girls as they grew up and reached sexual maturity. It is not our job to post pictures of teenage girls who delight simply in displaying themselves as though it were a modern day selfie. -Ron]

Ed Lea – Jessica and Susanne 06 (year unknown)

Ed Lea – Jessica and Susanne 15 (year unknown)

Ed Lea – Jessica and Susanne 16 (year unknown)

Ed Lea – Jessica and Susanne 16 (year unknown)

Later on I will post more on these ‘vintage’ girls and, in that future post, I would like to be able to publish this ‘Golden Girl’. So, if anyone knows what I am talking about, please do come forward and share. And does anyone have any other information about Jessica and Susanne by Ed Lea? Or about Ed Lea himself? Is he known for any other work? Why did the creator of that website choose Ed Lea among others like Yoji Ishikawa? I did once have all 19 images but they call fall prey to fire, or a crash in digital form. Here are a few other survivors from ‘Sweet Angels Calendar’, but only those from Yoji Ishikawa. In the future I would like to give attention to the other photographers that did not ‘survive’, at least not survive the shutdown of Sweet Angels Calendar. That way the focus can be on each photographer in turn along with their models. From ‘Euro Scans’ by Ishikawa only 8 out of 230 of the Ishikawa pictures survive. Besides, I can imagine that Ishikawa did not choose for the title ‘Euro Scans’, maybe rather ‘Euro’. Below are 6 of the 8, also numbered according the series on the site. Titles are ‘Euro_lat’ followed by the corresponding number.

Yoji Ishikawa – Euro Scan 01 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Euro Scans 02 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Euro Scan 16 (year unkown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Euro Scan 33 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Euro Scan 35 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Euro Scan 36 (year unknown)

And then there is Vera, also by Ishikawa. Part of ‘Sweet Angels Calendar’ and the thumbnails are titled “E2_vera” with corresponding numbers. Here, it seems, all have survived although the series numbering does go up to 30. Vera most likely comes from the Flemish part of Belgium, because in the 3rd picture she reads, or poses to read, the Flemish—a dialect of Dutch—a comic titled Suske and Wiske. I also think Vera is Belgian rather than Dutch because Ishikawa also had at least one other Belgian model, Sophie Despineux.

Yoji Ishikawa – Vera 02 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Vera 07 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Vera 10 (year unknown)

Yoji Ishikawa – Vera 27 (year unknown)

28 thoughts on “Ed Lea: Seeking a ‘Vintage’ Girl in Gold

  1. I recall fondly Sweet Angels Calendar. It was there that I discovered the sweet, innocent beauty of the prepubescent girl. There was one photo in particular that stays with me. It was of a girll, maybe age 10 or so, looking into a full-length mirror, but it was shot from behind her so that we could also see her incredibly gorgeous, long flowing blonde hair. She was a sweet angel, to be sure.

  2. The photographs by Yoji Ishikawa show clearly some artistic sophistication, but this seems not to be the case with those by Ed Lea, so that one can suspect a voyeuristic motivation, to simply show “pretty girls.”
    There are certainly a number of visitors of Pigtails who come chiefly to see pretty nude girls, sometimes with a sexual viewpoint. There are also prudes who see the site as shocking. As long as these two types of people keep their experience private, this remains a secret affair about which we cannot know anything, and we should not bother.
    The problem begins when they start to publicise their viewpoint and cause us trouble. For instance some will advertise Pigtails on porn sites, while others will campaign to have the site shut down.

    • The irony is that anybody who wishes – for innocent or perverse reasons – to see an abundance of children at various stages of puberty totally nude need only type in “naturist”, “naturism” or the like into their search engine, such as Bing, and a great many pictures from nudist/naturist websites will pop up (“nudist” tends to produce almost exclusively adults, with a lot of actual porn). I doubt most actual pedophiles even know this site exists, and would not be taking some huge hit if it disappeared.

      • I suppose you are just trying to be helpful, but it should be understood that determined people are going to search every crack and crevice to find what they want. They certainly would have discovered naturism and the work of photographers like Jock Sturges. But your point is taken that, for people desiring a superficial thrill, Pigtails in Paint is only a small blip on their radar. -Ron

  3. When reading these comments, I think it is wrong to demonize the “puritans” for acting on something they truly believe is right. What I think we should all take issue with is those who would look to these images for sexual gratification. Aren’t they the real bad guys?

    • The problem with mainstream media is it tends to polarize us into artificial “camps”. I find it amusing that “puritans” are regarded as universally conservative while liberals are always the upholders of “free expression”. We have to break these stereotypes if we are to live in a less neurotic society. Some may say that is an ambitious goal, but I hope not! I also want to advise those who scrutinize Pigtails looking for the slightest misstep that most of us who find delight in the images of little girls are not doing so in search of selfish sexual gratification. -Ron

    • Amanda, many “good-intentioned” people have done terrible things to innocents in the name of some lofty goal such as “protecting the children” – remember the McMartin Preschool case where many decent people’s lives were destroyed by concerned citizens and law enforcement who were “sure” children were being harmed there? Or the many cases of professional or amateur photographers being hounded and prosecuted – sometimes successfully – for taking innocent nudes of children? Zealots are demonized for a very good reason, and they can destroy children’s lives (by taking away their parents, for instance) as surely as any molester. So what if they think they’re right? Every bad guy in history though he was right.

    • I would like to advance the discussion by requesting that you refrain from repetitive defensive comments. People who throw about vague labels like “puritans” or “perverts” are simply pushing the emotional buttons of ignorant people (the purview of politicians). If we are to intelligently deal with issues of ethics—what some might call morality—decisions need to be based on one’s vision for a healthy society and not get mired in simplistic labels like good or bad. -Ron

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