I stay away from pontils which were ground cloudy; that screams Japan, Mexico, and recent so to answer your question: the pontil is ground smooth and polished. This bowl, along with a few other items, come from an estate which had been in storage since the early 1990s when the owners passed away well into their 80s. These people were severe pack rats and had several properties which were literally packed floor to ceiling with box upon box upon box... and they lived among this "treasure trove" with walk spaces measuring only a few feet across. They had so much that a local auction company held 6 or 7 auctions over the course of the last year, each auction was fri-sun so you can imagine how much things they had accumulated. This past, and last batch of auctions, were conducted 12-14 June.
What made it even more enjoyable is that the family is from Chicago, my home town. If one were into old books (which I'm not) they would have had a field day as the selection of books, as well as subject matter, ran the gamut of human knowledge, in several different languages, but primarily English and German. The book people were running about with grubby, filthy palms rummaging through box after box of books. Everyone who attended the auctions were absolutely in awe of how one could have accumulated so many things, and so many multiples of one thing. For example, they literally had thousands upon thousands of cameras, lenses, everything associated with photography, much from the late 1800s to the 1960s. I did not see one item, book or otherwise, which dated past the 1960s. It was truly incredible and I doubt that I will ever see an auction quite like these, at least from one estate which was untouched for so many years.
I spoke with the nephew handling the estate who had come down from Chicago and he told me his uncle was an architect who traveled extensively, thus the wide range of European objects.
To some up the experience, I walked away with the one item I truly went for: a Gibbings Widdicomb mahogany side table with solid brass legs.