Reuben is depicted as the sun on the edge of the horizon either setting into the sea (see: Remarks: no. 1). The sun is set in the mid right corner of the medallion and its rays reach the whole radius of the medallion. The cartouche and the medallion are surrounded by palm with dates.
Simeon is depicted as a curved sword set in front of the city of Shechem(Gen.49:5-7), represented as a crenellated city wall with an arched gate. The cartouche and the medallion are flanked by palm and pomegranate branches.
Levi is represented by the High Priest breast plate (Hoshen), depicted as a rhomboid with the twelve stones (Ex. 28:14-26) connected to a chain and flanked by a vine with grapes on either side. The cartouche and the medallion are flanked by a pomegranate branch and wheat.
Judah is depicted as a lion’s head facing left (Gen. 49:9) and is set above two sheaves of wheat.
1. A postcard printed in Germanyin the early 20th century depicts a similar representation for Reuben, though the sea is the dominant motif, illustrating Jacob's blessing which describes Reuben as "Unstable as water" (Gen. 49:4). Sztarck, who most probably used this postcard as a model, changed the proportions between the sea and the sun; enlarged the sun and reduced the water. The artists in theBezalelSchool followed Sztarck, and reduced even more the sea. Thus, the sign of Reuben became gradually a rising sun.