As the former imperial and republican capital of Brazil, Rio  had a lot of luxury going for it, not to mention scores of aristocratic families used to high living—until their luck or money ran out and they needed to hock their goods. Consequently, there are some interesting knickknacks floating around if you have the eye and patience to find them.
In Copacabana  avoid the posh antiques stores at the touristy Shopping Center Cassino Atlântico and instead head off the beaten track to the Shopping dos Antiquários (Rua Siqueira Campos 143, Copacabana, tel. 21/2255-3461, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Sat.). Located in a slightly beat-up, weirdly futuristic shopping center—Rio’s first—dating from the 1960s, this shopping boasts over 70 antiques stores, specializing in everything from colonial furniture, baroque sacred art, and antique dolls to deco dishware and Bakelite jewelry. Along with the serious stuff, there are some fun junk stores with surprising treasures.
Rio ’s other antiques mecca is Lapa’s Rua do Lavradio, one of Rio’s oldest residential streets. Alongside classic antiques stores and secondhand shops, new boutiques specializing in early- to mid-20th-century Brazilian designs and furnishings have been cropping up, among them Ateliê e Movelaria Belmonte (Rua do Lavradio 34, tel. 21/2507-6873, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.) and Mercado Moderno (Rua do Lavradio 130, tel. 21/2508-6083, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.).
On the first Saturday afternoon of every month, the local merchants’ association organizes the Feira do Rio Antigo, in which all the stores on Rua Lavradio join together with other antiques dealers for an open-air market, which also features live music and dance performances.