I have now posted the very beginnings of the Tassel and Knop timeline to my website. It took me a little while to try to figure out how I was going to organise the information, but I think I've worked out a classification system which may well work.
I have decided to make a primary list of types and decorative styles. That way, each item found, or seen in a piece of art, can be classed - first by its type, then by any decorative techniques used. (As I go through my notes, I expect this to grow as well) In theory, this will help to keep the basic list manageable, and ultimately allow me to see what sorts of patterns emerge.
At the moment, I am concentrating on pre-18th century items, but only because during that century, so many tassels are multi-form that I haven't quite figured out a way to classify them yet. That will change though, as I have some references to some lovely 18th c tassels!
As you'll see, it's very early days, but having a system means that all of the individual notes I have collected over the years can now be organised. And I have alot of notes to go through.
I'd like to do the same sort of thing with other small items of silkwork, including worked buttons and ribbon patterns.