Bronze has been used for centuries to create statues, and is still the first choice for modern, striking works of art. The most widely-used alloys for such objects are leaded gunmetals, such as CC492K and CC491K.
This is a Chinese Specification composition 57-60 copper, 0.8-1.9% lead, balance zinc. It is a leaded Muntz Metal. A more suitable alloy for this application would be the gunmetal LG2 (CC491K) 85%copper, 5% tin, 5% zinc, 5% lead. It has better corrosion resistance and is easily cast.
Leaded Gunmetal is a cast alloy which is not designed to be cold worked. Crimping involves extreme deformation which will not usually be tolerated by the gunmetal without cracking. However, castings do not have a uniform structure and in the areas free from lead and possibly a smaller grain size some ductility is present. This will account for some of the castings surviving the crimping without cracking.
Suggest that you use continuously cast CC491K (LG2) bar or a wrought free-machining phosphor bronze.
Gunmetal or dezincification resistant brass.