Whilst we may lack much available information on this piece, particulary available in English, the beauty of this piece makes it an important contribution to his output within his array of pen drawings. It is rare to see a master handling content like this, essentially a design for a silversmith to produce a completed goblet.
Durer was not afraid to take his skills into new areas, and rarely confirmed to the norm of the time. He experimented consistently with both types of content and also the medium in which he depicted them. Pen and indian ink dominate his drawings whilst watercolours were common used in his paintings, but alternatives are used on occassion.
The true masters were recognised as brilliant within their own lifetimes, in most cases, and the reputation of Durer would have ensured that commissions, such as this design, were consistently providing him with work and a steady income. His interest in creating a varied oeuvre also meant that many customers could request unusual types of work and still be optimistic that he would accept the work. See also a related artist in Hieronymus Bosch.