Phil .... I've seen tachi blades on display in Japanese museums and .... they were resting on their edges, in the "tachi" position. I found this image online to support my memory! The blogger states this is
Tachi; [made by] Saku-go-Saku (Retired Emperor Gotoba).
She has more photos HERE
If you google-image search "japan sword museum" you'll see other images (though few seem to be from the JSM).
HMMMM. I greatly respect your Gents vast knowledge and experience with these. I'm just a student in learning and everybody who I have had contact/conversations with about this subject always stressed never on the edge and never finger **** the blades.
I'm kind of left not knowing what to say.
You simply received incorrect information from an individual who did not know what he was talking about. In all fields of collecting, this is not uncommon. Merry Christmas to you. It is always a good thing to learn something new that is factual. Edo period katana of the Hizen smiths and the Kunikiyo of Kyoto all signed their katana tachi mei and are usually displayed with the ha down.
LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.
I cannot thank you all enough. I gave the curator the link to this page so hopefully he has everything he needs to make his display unique, interesting AND educational. Bob and Guy, you are top shelf individuals as always and have my deepest gratitude. Merry Christmas to all and I hope you all have an amazing and prosperous New Year!
The kanji you read as Isobe 服部 actually reads Hattori.