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. All that said, to those who come to this site to view nude female children for sexual pleasure, shame on you. But there is merit to what has been said above. In our society today, the vast majority of people would consider the images presented here to be child pornography, even though it may be legal.

    • I would like to add that it is not Pigtails’ intent to hide behind the technicalities of the law. It is always my intent that we are ferreting out the truths of ethical arguments for the sake of real progress, not a desperate clinging to a flawed status quo. Always in the back of our minds should be the question: what is the best environment in which to raise children so that they reach their greatest positive potential? I think we will have failed if we did not at least contribute to future generations of children having happier lives than we did. -Ron

    • What point are you trying to make by claiming that “the vast majority of people” consider these non-lascivious artistic images to be pornographic? Do you wish to highlight the fact that it is unfortunate that they are corrupting their tastefulness with their own perverse thinking or are you perhaps subtly hinting that since most people, in your opinion, believe this it makes it so?

  2. While I agree with most of what has been said, this is one of those cases I would genuinely question why a middle aged male would obsess over these images if there isn’t even the slightest hint of perverted desire. I think people need to stop blasting the puritans who are doing what they feel in their heart to be right and need to start blasting the pedophiles who look at these girls for sexual pleasure. In the end, aren’t the pedophiles worse?

    • Your point is well taken but I think it is premature to make blanket statements about the harm of one loosely-defined stereotypical group or another on principle. -Ron

    • I understand the Perverted Puritans are doing what they believe is right and are trying to protect children, but by pointing out how erotic naked kids are, they are the ones sexualizing children. Many will look at at those images and think they are crazy and there is nothing sexual in them. Others will agree and believe they should be censored/eliminated/banned. The problem comes with those who never had an erotic thought of children seeing the image and, after being told to see the perversion, do so. It doesn’t immediately turn them into predatory paedophiles, but it plants a seed that can grow. The sickest part is the glee the Perverted Puritans seem to experience when somebody is aroused by the innocent pictures they were told were child porn.

    • Whether a male is 15, 30 or 60 and whatever he lays his eyes on, regardless of the nature of his personal thoughts, is absolutely none of your business. Do you believe that an individual should suffer punishment for “thought-crimes” because his freedom of thoughts hurts your feelings? I think busybodies like you need to stop being such control-freaks because in the end, you are worse and cause more harm than the people who have the “bad thoughts”.

      • I am simply saying that while we can agree that these images are not in bad taste, it is wrong to look at a child with lust. I understand that people cannot help the thoughts that come into their head, but that is not what this site is for! And if you are abusing a child, then you are absolutely worse than the puritans.

      • It is naive to think that a policy of pure freedom of thought is a healthy one or that a public broadcast of such thoughts are perfectly acceptable. Now when I make such statements, I am doing so from the perspective of a healthy society. The fact of the matter is that all societies have to follow rules. Human beings have an almost absurd capacity for perverse thought, but we do not usually act on these thoughts or indulge in them too much. For instance, is it really sensible for people to listen to the voices telling them to kill themselves or others? Insofar as another person’s thoughts can be known, it is fair game for fellow human beings to make some effort to manage those thoughts or limit their self-expression. I know this is not a popular idea for dyed-in-the-wool liberals, but I would like to urge people to take a serious look how human beings really work. We need rules and we need freedoms; these are the psychological essentials for life. The defensive declarations we are seeing in this thread are fear-driven and should not rule our final determinations on how things are run. Being raised in a culture that purports to respect the individual, it is so easy to lose sight of the fact that we are social creatures and that the development of the post-industrial nuclear family is relatively new and psychically unhealthy as a norm. In our complex society, we do not want to be burdened by the obligations of being our brother’s keeper, but with few exceptions, it is one thing that makes us human beings. -Ron

  3. I’ve been struggling with how to compose this response. I confess this post makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I’ll say first that the images here are lovely and charming and I truly believe there was no harm to anyone involved. But these images seem to push the artistic/aesthetic boundary of this site. They have been produced for the specific purpose of being, shall we say, “appealing.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s not a bad thing, and may well serve a very valuable purpose in society. Nor do I believe the young models suffered any kind of trauma for their involvement. But perception is everything, and it is images like these, as harmless as they are, that give easy fuel to the zealots who would seize on any justification to shut down this and similar sites, and bring about legal sanction. For example, in some images the models are clearly undressing “for the camera.” In another they can be seen admiring a set of photos that might be of them, or other models. Again, it’s open to interpretation, but one interpretation is that it represents a form of “grooming” (I hate that word) that moral guardians particularly like to send out shrill warnings about. I see nothing bad here, but it’s all about the optics, and at this point of time, can we be too cautious? I heartily hope that I am overreacting, and I will leave to the editors to decide if this statement is worthy of print, or perhaps would do more harm than good by calling attention to the matter. But I would hate to see this site fall.

    • Thoughtful and challenging comments are always welcome. In fact, I encourage them. As I have said many times, I do not know all the answers. Pigtails in Paint is, for me, an exercise in self-exploration. But I also believe that the questions I am asking myself is beneficial to others and to an eventually more balanced society psychologically. One of the things that may be making you uncomfortable is the manner in which these images were originally presented: as if viewing them were some illicit activity.
      Regarding justifications for shutting us down, people have been busily doing so for a while now and this post is hardly going to tip the scales in either direction. However, it would be irresponsible for me not to make some relevant comments on the subject that will properly frame Pigtails’ purpose and why we present these images now.
      An interesting point that you kind of hint at is the issue of younger siblings of girls who do have some understanding of their sexual appeal. The younger girl may want to join in with what her sister is doing without comprehending the full meaning of the activity. Of course, she likes the attention and satisfies her need to compete with her older sister. Interestingly, younger siblings tend to have more developed social skills due to these interactions than the eldest child of a family or an only child. Part and parcel with that comes an earlier exposure to the foibles of human sexuality. At first blush, that may seem a bad thing but we should realize that human beings evolved in tribal groups and young girls would have spent most of their time with the rest of the women and girls, in various states of development. Additional, it would behoove us to examine our own tendency to fetishize the innocence of children. Today’s prominence—in ‘developed’ countries—of the nuclear family does not have the kinds of checks and balances that would automatically occur in tribes, excepting some residual cultural customs passed down the generations. We are taught various skills from our elders and we practice them in preparation for our eventual adulthood (and full membership in society). Do we always comprehend them when we are learning them? This is important food for thought when considering the ethics of children modeling and who is viewing these images. -Ron

    • I reviewed that post, then searched Ockenga on line. Most of what comes up at the moment is people freaking out that one of her books was part of Michael Jackson’s “pornography collection.”

  4. This may have been one of the sites selling access to nude images of children. There were quite a few of them for a while. In essence, they were selling these images as if they were porn (or porn lite) directed towards paedophiles. The Pigtails site is promoting the innocence of these pictures. Those sites were promoting their perversion and ‘claiming’ they were not pornography (technically, they aren’t). I, for one, am glad to see them gone. There are too many Perverted Puritans pointing out how erotic children are, we don’t need PsudoPorn as well.

    • I have very much the same concerns. The reason I have allowed this post is that this phenomenon of Photo-Lolicon needs to be examined more rationally. What are the peculiarities of Protestant culture that give most people a bizarre twist on this subject? In what ways does modern capitalism corrupt things so that viewing these images becomes a furtive activity purchased in a black-market environment like pornography? Given our international co-ed society, what rules should be in place to genuinely protect these child models without needlessly hampering anyone’s liberties? I have some ideas but not all the answers; however, I believe our society will ultimately benefit by the sincere asking of these questions. -Ron

    • Sweet Angels Calendar is a name that can sound like some lolicon selling site. But it was there for free. Or do you mean ‘selling’ figuratively? Anyhow, this site was only showing girls, mostly nude. How the models look back now, I do not know. But I find it tasteful. What would be the problem anyway? The way models look back can be modeled by society. (Besides, up till now does nobody have a lead about the golden girl?)

      • I’ve often wondered how the women who posed for these as girls feel now. Most would be in their late forties to mid fifties now, most of them with families of their own.
        On a personal note, during the era when these photos were being taken (the late 70s -mid 80s) I was a mid teen budding photographer who, over the course of a summer, took nudes of a neighborhood girl who was the younger sister of a schoolmate. Nothing coercive ; she was very willing to pose and we had a lot of fun shooting several rolls of black and white film that I developed and printed myself.

        However, they were done as fun and not to be put onto a website (or magazine, as I suspect the ‘little angels’ series were.)

        Are those photos pornography? Not strictly.
        Were they made to titillate the secret urges of middle aged men and thereby get them to buy a product, namely the magazines? Probably…
        I think that’s where the issues arise; is it nudity for art or for commerce?

        As for the girl I photographed…She is now a Mother herself and while not ashamed of posing for the photos herself–by her own admission she thought it was a lot of fun—she would be concerned if her daughters were doing the same thing at that age.

        • I very much appreciate your comment because it engages the capacity for questioning instead of pretending to have all the answers. The key issue you brought up (to my mind) is about privacy. Even if all the stigmatization about nudity were removed and everyone were able to acknowledge and accept the sexuality of human beings in all states of development, the real crisis has to do with the effects of two technological developments. First, there is photography which—as many scholars and laymen have commented—has the eerie ability to freeze time, making one an eternal child. This effect did exist somewhat in other art media, but it suddenly became more accessible and personal. It is understandable that a parent would want to preserve these precious moments, but there is still the problem of stigmatization as a parent’s boast inadvertently humiliates the now-older child by sharing “tales out of school”. Secondly, the ability to broadcast these tender vulnerable moments of childhood is now greater than ever. Publishing photos for the individual collector is one thing, but now a whole world of strangers can see with a few clicks of the mouse; this site is one of those places. If we are to survive these technological disruptions of our society, we need to achieve a certain maturity about the realities of childhood and not create a stigmatization from our own overreactions. And needless to say, there is a desperate need by most people to educate themselves. -Ron

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