Lotus Bud Beaker. Unknown. Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, 1st century A.D. Mold-blown glass, 8 3/8 in. 2003.320. The J. Paul Getty Trust © J. Paul Getty Trust.

In about 25 B.C. glassmakers began to create decorative vessels, such as this cup, by blowing glass into a mold with incised designs. Mold fragments of stone, clay, bronze, and plaster have survived from antiquity. The earliest makers of molds for glassware may have been ceramists familiar with constructing molds for clay vessels.

Mold designs often incorporated decorative elements, such as palm fronds, columns, or lotus buds (as on this vessel), that disguise the joins of different sections.