Since the early twentieth century, it has been accepted that the "enconchados" bear a relationship with Asiatic or Mesoamerican objects. The shell-inlayed frames, a very significant portion of the existing works, show that the relation was, concretely, with Japanese namban lacquer-work. That paintings with shell inlay took over the ornamentation from the Japanese works applying it in line with Novohispanic pictorial conceptions, is borne out by technical findings that establish the closeness of the "enconchados" to paintings that omit the use of mother-of-pearl. The production is known mainly from the works of a superior class that have been conserved, but documental information proves that such works were available to broad social groups. This article discusses these matters and clarifies that the hybridization of forms responds to artistic conceptions exclusive to New Spain.