Probably first used as a brazing metal to weld other pieces with higher melting points...It was discovered to be a quick and easy casting metal which could be used to reproduce many items from a mould.
Much used in the 19th and early 20th century - mainly figurines and figural groups.
Some very large sculptural pieces were made but more usually, decorative house ware.
Often used as a cheaper alternative to bronze or to copy bronze pieces. See Monkey Metal