Nishapur Slip Painted Bowl - AMD.155, Origin: Central Asia, Circa: 900 AD to 1000 AD, Dimensions: 3.3" (8.4cm) high x 6.3" (16.0cm) wide, Collection: Islamic Art, Style: Nishapur Ware, Medium: Buff Earthenware. The occurrence of bird imagery in this age of pottery is not uncommon however the anthropomorphic nature of this illustration is most unusual and has a mythical or legendary quality possibly invoking historic Sassanian or Zoroastrian imagery where the image of the bird such as the “Simorgh” played various important roles. The bird depicted here poses standing upright on her two legs, with her head gently lowered and her body and wings are in the shape of palmettes are all visible in the image. A very similar illustration exists on a bowl which is reportedly from Maimana in the Al-Sabah Collection, in Kuwait. That example is in polychrome; see Oliver Watson, Ceramics from Islamic Lands, cataloging the Al-Sabah Collection in the Kuwait National Museum, 2004. p.233.
Ancient Near East