The vessel is typical of the regional style of a bowl used for serving sauerkraut, but there is much more to it than that. The figurative painting on the base of the bowl shows a potter smoking his pipe while turning a vessel on his potter's wheel. The motif was probably inspired by a contemporary print. Depictions of professions were printed in large numbers from the 16th century onwards and were also very popular with craftsmen. They used the images to represent themselves in a figurative sense. The sauerkraut bowl was probably not made as a commissioned work for a customer, but as a showpiece for the master potter.